Welcome! Veterans, Servicesmen, Servicewomen, locate your old sevice buddies.
My message to all Veterans, female and male. First, I am a Certified Hypnotherapist and also a Veteran, serving from 1951 to 1953, during the Korean Mess. Afterwards, I went to the University of Miami on the GI Bill and studied psychology, which included hypnosis.
To all military personnel and Veterans, female and male: Something to help you get through these horrible times and the haunting memories from the past.
Sunday, December 7, 1941 my friend and I came out of a movie, titled "Buck Privates" with Bud Abbot and Lou Costello. It was a comedy about basic training in the US Army. My Father picked us up; on the drive home he told us about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. That meant war.
When I arrived home, I went immediately to the basement and began target practicing with my BB gun. I was sure that in a few years I would be a soldier fighting for my country, or sooner if they attacked us. I was twelve years old at the time. The war was over before I was able to enlist. All through those times I read the newspaper every day about the war. I had relatives and older friends who were in it. I fought by collecting scrap iron, buying war stamps, building model airplanes of the enemy planes, and looking to do more.
The war ended; I went on with my life. When the Korean War started, I enlisted in the Air Force, but was rejected because of a perforated eardrum. It was only infected, but they didn’t want someone to cure, they wanted someone who could serve. Then in July of 1951 I was drafted. I was working on a yacht in Long Island Sound. I was to be inducted from my hometown, so I went home to be with my family before I went in.
This time I was taken. When interviewed about my placement in the Army, I told them I wanted to be in the Airborne, because I played semi-pro football, and wanted to keep in shape, incase I survived. I was sent to Fort Eustis, VA for basic training. That is a story in its self. They taught us how to hate the enemy, and how to kill or be killed. We all had M-1 rifles by our sides. Everybody hoped they would survive, but few thought they would. We didn’t talk about it.
Since this is for the military and the Veterans, who have mental problems from the wars, I will add some of my thoughts and experiences, about the military, at the end of this article.
Anticipation is the word I used when I was drafted into the army in 1951. I anticipated my demise. I was going, and I would do my best when it came to fighting - I did not expect to come back. I am sure this is how most young men feel when they are marching off to war.
I don’t care what they call it, when they put you in front of other men with loaded rifles, cannons, tanks, and bombs, armed with the intent to kill you, that is war. For those involved as soldiers, and soldier’s families, war is hell. For the greedy corporations, who get the government contracts, war is great.
I first played semi-pro football in 1947, the year I graduated from High School. Many of the players were vets from WW II. They didn’t speak too much about the war until we got to know each other; then I heard many stories. I played three seasons with them. When they heard I was drafted, they weren’t too joyful about it. One of their teammates was going to a hell that they had been through, and survived.
I am now a veteran, and I am seeing youngsters going off to hell. I am not joyful about it. I pray for them everyday. My prayers are not to a holy man sitting on a throne in heaven, or to one of his sons, who has been proclaimed the key to heaven. My prayer is to the universal forces that created us all perfect. Some cosmic force created the beauty around us. I don’t claim to know anything about it, except what I feel. That beauty is for all to enjoy.
I don’t believe this force wants humanity to fear it. I don’t believe it even knows that fear exists. That is something humans invented, and have been using to control humanity ever since. I call that force, God. It doesn’t matter what it is called, it does exist; something does exist that heals a cut, or grows a tree. Whatever that thing is, whatever that force may be, I call it God, sometimes Santa, but that is who, or what, I pray to. I feel that force is present in the entire universe, not just special individuals – we are all special.
I said all of the above so that you might understand me, and try what I am going to suggest; something to aid you in dealing with the horrors you have been put through. Your anticipations are founded, but to delve on them worsens your life. Accept them, and let go of them.
(INSERTION) Friday, December 18, 2015:
I am suggesting meditation as a Yogi from India taught me years ago. I still do it today and it works for me. As the years passed, I have altered and changed some of it, but the basics are there. First, find a quiet place where you can have five or ten minutes to quietly meditate without interruption (the more time the better). Someplace where you can sit and be totally relaxed (I have done it standing). Once you are secure in your spot, close your eyes and take three deep breaths, slowly exhaling and relaxing. Then take three more breaths, as you exhale say to yourself, relax, and believe (important to believe) you are relaxing. You should feel relaxed and removed from all thoughts.
I am about to give you a mantra to repeat with each slow relaxed breath: First say, “God” on inhale, then as you slowly exhale, “Love” and finish with, “Peace” just before beginning your next inhale. Repeat this for the next five or ten minutes – longer, if you have time. Other thoughts will try to creep into your mind, but the more practice you have, the easier it will be to stop those thoughts, or just let them slip on through.
If you read what I said about God in the above paragraphs: those are just my beliefs, you pray to the God you want to pray to. When you say “God” while doing the mantra, know that God is with you all of the time. The more practice, the more you will find this helpful to you. Know, you are not alone, that others are praying for you, and God is with you. God bless.
Prior to being drafted in 1951, I had two football scholarships. The first one was to Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia. It was fine until football season ended. Then the military stepped in. First I was the only Yankee on the team and the only other Yankee was in the band. I know what it is like to be in a minority group. I had many fights behind the gym during those days. Since I was already an amateur boxer and a street fighter, I enjoyed those bouts. I got punched around a little, but I usually won.
But for the rest of the military indoctrinations, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. When I told the Major in command I was leaving, he told me that was the best news from me he ever heard. I returned to my home town near Pittsburgh, PA. I was offered a scholarship to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. I accepted and it was more pleasant than Georgia Military College. I was installed into Reserve Officer Training Corps. Then ROTC was part of the curriculum, but I recently checked it online; now it is different.
They offer you a college education that prepares young adults to become officers in the U.S. Military. In exchange for a paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, cadets commit to serve in the Military after graduation - Just another way to enlist our youth into the military, in order to keep the wars going.
I had some introduction to the military through playing semi-pro football with many Veterans from WWII. I also was an honorary member of the local Veterans Association. During that time I heard many war stories that most people never hear. So, in 1950 when I first enlisted in the Air Corps and was rejected, I was thankful – I really didn’t want to be in the military. Then in July of 1951, I was drafted.
I went home to be with my family before going into the army. Because of my prior experiences with the military college and ROTC I was offered to go to Officers Candidate School (OCS). I refused the offer – I wanted to get out as soon as possible. I had to many places to go, and too much to learn through my experiences; I didn’t need any more military training. Then during my indoctrination, because of all of my sailing experiences, I was asked if I wanted to get on a boat. From what I had learned from my Veteran buddies, they never seemed to place anyone in their experienced area. A butcher became a desk clerk, a desk clerk was given a butcher's job, etc.. I asked to be in the Airborne so I could keep in shape, in case I survived.
They shipped me to Fort Eustis for basic training. Since I was hoping to survive Korea, I planned on returning to semi-pro football. Our second day of basic training, I was doing calisthenics and while running in place, I stepped on a root and broke a couple of bones in my foot. Here is how the military look after you: I went on “sick call” to be told I would be okay, and was returned to basic training. Since I was a fighter and a football player, I recognized pain, and I knew my foot was broken. The next day, I crawled to the military hospital – I was not able to walk on the foot. When I got to the front door, they offered to get me a wheelchair. I told them to forget it. I crawled this far, I would crawl the rest of the way. They X-rayed the foot and found two bones broken. I was in the hospital for three months.
During that time I learned about the military. I was placed in ward 8, which is where they place most of the mental patients. They labeled those mental patients as if they were trying to get out of the army (I can’t remember what they called them, but it wasn’t nice.). Of course, some were trying to get out. I didn't blame them.
My first run in was because they refused to give me crutches so I could move around. One day I wanted to go to the PX, so because I was an acrobat and could walk on my hands, I started down the hallway on my hands. An officer asked me what I was doing. I answered him about no crutches. The next day I was given a pair of crutches.
After being there so long many of us became close friends. Every once in a while, usually on weekends, someone would smuggle some beer, and once in a while whiskey, into the ward. We had a grand time, playing cards and drinking. When I was able to get around I brought in beer for my buddies.
dThen when I started getting weekend passes, I would hitch-hike up to Washington D. C., chase the girls and then return with a small suitcase full of half-pints of whiskey. I would bring it into the ward and we would party. During that time two MPs had a motorcycle accident and were laid up in our ward. I became friends with them and shared my whiskey. They shared their knowledge of the military with me (Army regulations and such.) These were things that weren’t taught to the ordinary soldier.
One day after much drinking, I wandered into the latrine. One of my buddies offered me his half pint for a swig of whiskey. As I was taking a drink, the Captain of the ward walked in and tried to get the bottle away from me. She was demanding that I give it to her. I dragged her over to a toilet and dumped the remainder down the toilet. Was she ever angry! She called the Officer of the day and he questioned me. I told him that she just walked into the head (from my sailing days) and demanded me to give her the bottle. The OD told me it was not a head. So after the questioning, and he was leaving, I said to him, “Sir, I am sorry I called the head the head.” He gave me a dirty look and walked out. I was restricted to the ward for ten days.
There were numerous other incidents, that I can’t remember, but it was all a military learning experience. Now when I am finally able to walk and I return to basic training, I was called into the Commander’s office. He said, “Younghans, this is not how I usually start off basic training, but I have to court marshal you. Since there had been so many incidents, I asked him, why was I being court marshaled? He said because I had brought alcoholic beverages on to a military base. My reply shook him up. I said, “At that time, I was restricted to the base for ten days. According to Army regulations I can only be punished one time.” He said that he would look into that, and then excused me.
The next day I was called into the commander’s office once more. The commander said, “Younghans, I cannot court marshal you, but if you get out of line one time, your ass has had it. Do you understand?” I said, “Yes, sir.” And was dismissed. All of this happened before I started basic training for the second time. My little knowledge of army regulations saved me.
After basic training, I was assigned to the amphibious engineers at the same location. One time returning from a weekend pass, I was riding in a taxi, with a number of other guys, returning to the base. The MP on duty looked in the taxi and then asked if anyone was carrying any whiskey onto the base. I told him I was. The other guys in the cab told me I must be nuts to admit it. The MP told me to get out of the cab, and then motioned the cab on into the base. He turned to me and said, “I’ll have a half pin.” He was one of the MPs that had been in the hospital with me. I gave him a half pint, and he put me in the next cab, and sent me on into the base.
Once when we were on bivouac I went back for second in the mess line. (I was a big eater at that time) I was refused seconds, as were a few others who came up for seconds. I organized a strike. We weren’t going to move until we got seconds. A lieutenant came to our bivouac area to see what was going on. We got our seconds.
Another experience I had was during the holidays – I am not real proud of this, but it did happen. After the sergeant in charge of guard duty gave out the assignments for guard duty during the holidays, there were always a few, who were willing to pay to get off of guard duty. I would offer to take their guard duty for a fee. I would go into the sergeant, give him half of the money and tell him the name of the person to take off of guard duty during the holidays. He would assign someone else. We collected fees from about ten guys. I wasn’t proud of that but it did get me enough money to go home for the holidays.
I went to fire fighting school in Norfolk Naval Base and worked on large ships, taking turns on the wheel. I was trained to run an LCM (landing craft mechanized). Then I was shipped to Fort Sherman on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, across the Limon Bay from Cristobal and Colon. I was assigned an LCM and we trained in the bay, preparing for an assault on the Korean shores.
When we were finally loaded on to a large troop ship in late June, we sailed North to Thule, Greenland, 750 miles above the Arctic Circle and 947 miles South of the North Pole. We went into the Bay until the ice stopped us. Our LCMs were put over the side and we broke up the ice in the bay so that the Victory ships could enter the bay. Our job was to take the LCMs back and forth unloading the Victory ships. They were establishing an air base. It was now July, and the sun never set while we were there.
At the end of July we were returned to Panama. On the way we stopped in Labrador and St. Johns, Newfoundland. In St. Johns we were anchored off shore while some business was being taken care of. I decided I wanted to go swimming, so I climbed through the hawser hole for the anchor and climbed down the anchor chain and dropped into the water. It was a delight. The guys on board were looking over the side at me, but no one joined me. Finally I climbed back up the anchor chain and through the hawser hole. Five minute later they hauled in the anchor and we headed for Panama.
I had other experience one the various troop ships. On the first trip down to Panama, I was cutting hair on deck, when I got a call to report to the provost marshal. He and another officer asked me if I was a barber. (In my second basic training for the engineers, I bought a pair of scissors, a comb, and a pair of clippers to cut hair in the barracks. I started out at 25 cents a hair cut. Most guys gave me a dollar or a dollar and a quarter, so on board ship that is what I charged.) The PM told me I could take over the barbershop because the barber was sick. I was told that I would charge fifty cents, and turn it over to them. I replied that I was getting $1.25 on deck and I kept it all. I turned down the barbershop. Every so often I heard my name over the PA, requesting me to go to the PMs office. I finally did and they told me I could charge whatever I wanted, and I could keep it all. So I became the ship’s barber.
So when we started for Thule, I went into the provost marshal’s office and told him I was a barber. They gave me room a with three bunks and room for a table. I ran a card game and rented out two of the bunks. I had the sergeant and the mess sergeant, along with a couple of other sergeants, playing cards. The mess Sgt. always brought some goodies with him. It was much better than being in the hold with all of those seasick guys. I even cut my Company Commander’s hair.
Which brings up another event. While back in Panama, an order came out for everyone to have his hair cut matchstick length. When my hair was matchstick length, it stuck strait out from my head, so I refused, as did some of the others when they saw me refuse. Another strike started. There were about twenty men when we started, and over a few days it was whittled down to three of us. I was called in front of the Company Commander. First I told him that he should know that I knew about hair, because I cut his hair on the sail to Thule, Greenland. I told him about what happens to my hair at matchstick length. I told him that the Army Regulations required the hair to be neat and trim, nothing about matchstick length. I was the only one who did not cut his hair. When I was returning to the States the Company Commander actually carried my duffle bag out to the truck that was taking me to the ship. He was happy to see me go.
I was honorably discharged on July third 1953. I survived the war, but not because of anything I did.
If you read what I said about God in the above paragraphs: those are just my beliefs, you pray to the God you want to pray to. When you say “God” while doing the mantra, know that God is with you all of the time. The more practice, the more you will find this helpful to you. Know, you are not alone, that others are praying for you, and God is with you.
My heart goes out to all of the young people who are serving in the military. I honor them, and I pray for them, and the day when mankind will realize the stupidity of war. How many innocent men and women have to die before we finally say, "NO" to the politicians and their friends who profit from war.
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Some informations Veterans should know. From, a Question and Answer session from Bill Quigley, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
many veterans are homeless on any given night?
Honor the Veterans, They don't make the wars, governments make wars, the Veterans served their country and their government for the right reasons (freedom of the people), no matter what the real reasons of the government were. ( Money, power?).
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*** Et in Arcadia Ego