I was issued at Fort Lee, Virginia. After that, I was stationed in Orleans, France and Fort Carson, Colorado. We retired to Fort Ord, California. Then I joined the Air Force and made two Brats of my own.
By the time I was nine, I could polish combat boots to a glass finish, jump a barbed wire fence, wear the uniform correctly, understood the role of the machine gun in squad deployments and fields of fire. We played “Army” every Saturday. There was one epic battle of the NCO Brats versus the Officer’s Brats.
I answered the phone: “Sergeant Major’s Chamberlain quarters, may I help you, sir.”
My Dad beat my ass for trading my comic books for a belt of LIVE .30 ammunition for the Rifle, Caliber .30, Automatic, Browning, M1918.
My buddy and I jumped a barb wired fence to look for arrows. We found ourselves on the mortar range. We were playing on the tanks and trucks when incoming rounds started landing. We sought shelter in a bunker. The range sent a jeep to find out why kids were on the range. We were in a shit load of trouble until they figured out I was the son of Sergeant Major Chamberlain. They decided it was best to keep everything on the QT and gave us a ride back home.
I spent my teenage years watching basic Training and then later the 7th Infantry Division marching and running at Fort Ord, California. When I joined the Air Force, my Dad wanted to know why I didn’t join the Army. I told him, “Because I’ve already done 19 years in the Army.”