Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, I was given a choice between Military Intelligence (probably because I spoke German and passable French,) and the Army Signal Corps. I figured that if I worked in Military Intelligence, I might have to spend the rest of the war translating German field manuals, while in the Signal Corps I would learn something related to my field. "No guarantees," they said...
(pg 30-31, From Nazi Germany to a Career in Freedom.)
I wonder if Opa told Grandmother about that choice or if he assumed her support (which she likely would have given). It makes sense that Opa would choose the classification that more closely matched his education and aptitude.
I hadn't realized Opa was the only college kid in the group. That's kind of amazing, and also likely why he was getting so much attention and praise from the officers. I guess it was late enough in the war that he didn't raise any suspicions of allegiance; to enlist in the Army at the lowest rank towards the end of the war would be a poor spy technique.
I had the "pleasure" of watching the old Army video on venereal diseases, and let me tell you, Opa is not kidding about them leaving nothing to the imagination. SO many pictures of diseased genitals in that video. They approach it from the assumption that all Army men are perfect sweethearts who are potential targets for harlots and seemingly sweet yet disease-infested women. As far as a teaching technique, it's not bad. Even more convincing were those photos. Woah.
I cannot imagine what the chaplain had to say that didn't feel weird after that.
Opa's experience with his new sergeant is a great indicator of how age and maturity are his best friends. He has seen this type before, and he knows how to live with it. His perspective on latrine duty is another indicator of his hard-earned wisdom (and cleverness), he knows that no one would volunteer for this service, but it takes less time and is somehow less terrible than K.P. (Kitchen Patrol), perhaps because of the time it takes? I hate cleaning bathrooms. Opa happily accepts his "low" assignment, because he knows it's all about perspective. He does a good job and doesn't complain, the grumpy sergeant is pleased, and Opa has his evenings free to write his wife.
I couldn't help but laugh when I read Opa's obligatory confession and follow up assertion of when he had fraternized with and without girls. He's transparent, showing Grandmother he can be trusted.
Opa misses Grandmother. The Army life is picking up, but his married life feels a little bit like it's on hold.
Friday, September 17, 2021
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Monday, September 13, 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Monday, September 6, 2021
Friday, September 3, 2021
Opa joins the Army! He finally found the solution to most of his problems, and since he tried pretty much all of the other ones, this was his Hail Mary toss. He signed up for the draft in order to solidify a path to citizenship that wasn't fraught with detours and red tape and false accusations.
I really wanted to get into the Army "to fight the Nazis." As an "enemy alien," however, I was not eligible to enlist. Someone suggested I could volunteer for the draft (probably thinking, if you are stupid enough). Also, Marjorie and I were engaged to be married.I called the draft board, and, sure enough, I was allowed to volunteer, which I did right then. The military must have been desperate, because they ordered me to active duty at Fort Leavenworth, KS, within 10 days. (pg 30)