49 Years ago. The World Was so Much Different Then…or was it?

Left: 1971 Rhein Mein Germany; Right: 2020 Huntsville, Alabama

I remember when the picture on the left was taken. I am standing next to my friend Fritz Thomas. I don’t remember who took the picture but I remember posing for it as though it was yesterday. This month I put my uniform back on for the first time in 49 years. I don’t know what I was expecting. The boots I wore in the service were the most comfortable shoes I ever wore. In fact, I wore them after I got out of the Air Force for several years until they finally wore out completely. Fritz and I both were sent to Korat, Thailand in 1972 to be part of the 388 Combat Support Group. I’ll never forget that Fritz met me at the side of the C-130 when I landed at Korat on the flight from Da-Nang Vietnam. We were both aircraft electricians and for a time both worked in the flight line battery shop at Korat. In 1972 the Air Force started spraying around the perimeter of their bases in Thailand with Agent Orange. When the 50-gallon drums were emptied of rainbow herbicide they brought them to us so we could use them for battery acid and soda water. As a result of that direct exposure, 49 years later we both have Parkinson’s disease and we stay in touch as much as we can. Continue reading “49 Years ago. The World Was so Much Different Then…or was it?”