Sunday, December 03, 2023

Salvation Army treats soldiers well

by ROGER GREGORY / Contributing Writer
| November 15, 2023 1:00 AM

As mentioned before, my First Infantry Division had had one brigade that went to Vietnam, so now we knew there was a war going on and soldiers were getting killed.

When I got orders to go, I was hesitant to tell my wife, Annie. So at that time, we had to dye our T-shirts green to blend in with the jungle. So when I got home, I told Annie that she had better go buy some green dye and that is how I told her.

So we flew from Ft. Riley to Oakland Army Terminal where there was the ship USNS Barret awaiting 3,000 of us. When we left Ft. Riley, the Salvation Army was there, giving out doughnuts and had a band. Then when we arrived at the ship and were boarding, again, the Salvation Army was there again with their doughnuts and band. Thus, I have always has a soft spot for them and donate a couple times a year.

I mentioned 3,000 plus of us on the one ship, but there were about five ships, leaving about a week apart. When we boarded we were not allowed to leave the ship. 

My cousin was a military police officer there at Oakland, he came aboard and told me a story of a trainload of troops coming in to Oakland. There were protestors laying on the tracks in opposition to the war. The troops didn't like it as they were going to war and those on the tracks were not. So the troops, proceeded to get off the train, grab a bunch of the protestors, drug them into the train, beat the tar out of them and threw them out the other side. 

Our ship was to leave at midnight, at about 11:45 p.m., here came three drunken sailors up the gang plank, The one in the middle couldn't make it up so the other two helped him walk up. It was just like a scene out of the movies.

The ship then did leave at midnight, we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge which was all lit up, a scene, I still remember. (To be continued.)

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