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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The beginning of a soldierly career

Korea, I knew nothing of the country.  Well, almost nothing, my sister, who my parents brought into out family when I was around eleven, was from South Korea.  The journey to Korea was one I remember well, I was apprehensive, but excited.  Here I was, 22 years old, fresh out of Army entry training and heading to a country that to this day is still "technically" at war with it's northern brother.  

Had to postpone this blog entry, needed to watch "The Hunger Games" with the wife and little girls last night, time spent with my family is priceless, but that movie, well, I expected much more.  Either way, let me get back to Korea.

So, as I mention, I am just a little out of my element.  I am the whitest of white guys probably to ever walk the face of God's green earth, but here I was smack dab in the middle of a foreign nation.  Luckily, the locals are friendly with their foreign military tenants, well, most of the time.  I recall many occasions, of drunk Americans, causing a raucous in the local bars and clubs, enough that I am sure the locals would want certain individuals gone.  Now, the business owners outside of the major military posts in Korea must make a killing on drunk GIs, they are easy prey, easy targets to take advantage of.  I must confess, I may have been one of those guys once or twice, but I will save myself the embarrassment of explaining how in my blog.  However, if you talk to one or two individuals who know me well, they can tell you the details, although I would hope they wouldn't. 

The soldiers I served with in Korea were a great bunch, I spent the good portion of the first 3 months performing my duties as a line medic with Bravo Company, 1st of the 9th Infantry Regiment.  Then I was approached by my Platoon Sergeant, he explained that the Battalion Executive Officer (XO) was looking for a driver.  The battalion, knowing we were slightly over-strengthed on medics (or so I was told), requested someone form the medical platoon leadership.  That guy was me, after some serious thought and contemplation, I agreed to take the position.  It was interesting to say the least.  I drove for a guy named Scott Rutter, he was a Major then, but I understand he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.  He was very good at his job, very much fit the mold as an officer, probably as much as I do not fit the mold now, although I am making strides.  I drove his ass all over that country for a good portion of the year I spent in Korea, approximately 6 of those months were spent in the field for training, but as a driver, I had a pretty nice assignment.  Again, I explain this in some more detail in my book. 

Interesting year, more to follow on Korea.....

Check out my former Battalion XO's post-service commitment, worth looking at
Scott Rutter, LTC Ret.

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