E-2, H Company, 63rd
Infantry Division, Ft. Ord, Calif.
Korean "Conflict" had
ended, but the draft continued. Graduating UCLA in Jan.
conscripted that May.
After surviving 3 months of basic infantry training, I spent 5
at the Signal Corps HQ at Ft. Monmouth, NJ. There, while working
weekends in New York
as a researcher-writer
for a CBS-American Museum of Natural History "Adventure" show
I produced military training epics such as "The Back Pressure - Arm
Shock." In March 1955, due to being classified as a
"Cameraman-Motion Pictures," I
to Supreme HQ Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in the suburbs of Paris.
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers
Europe (SHAPE), Paris
I was assigned to
the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Photo Division.
was taken when,
after having been authorized to handle "Cosmic Top Secret"
documents, I'd read the plans
to protect the "Free World" with tactics such as interdicting an
anticipated attack across
Germany by a thousand Soviet tanks by using atomic land mines to create
death zone from
the Baltic to the Alps. Having been a science-math major at
High and almost
majoring in Physics
at UCLA (the then-new course in "Astral Navigation" seemed
interesting), what little I knew was enough
that the "collateral damage" fall-out of such actions would contaminate
et al. Areas inhabited by some 30 million people would become so
radioactive as to be uninhabitable. To save Europe from Communism
we were preparing to destroy
September 1955, after
breaking the nose of a drunken sergeant who'd attacked me in the Orderly Room
at SHAPE, having
demonstrated special ability, I was exiled from France and reassigned
to Special Services as an
at the Bremerhaven Port of Embarkation (BPOE). There, working
Service Club hostesses,
I helped put on dances, invented the "BPOE Theater Society," taught
the Army to
fund my taking soldiers to see cultural masterpieces such as "A Night
Vienna" and "The
Widow" at the
Bremen State Opera, organized Christmas visits of our soldiers to
February 1956, accepted
as a student for the Doctorate in Social Psychology at the Sorbonne, I
90 days early. My chief accomplishment during 21 months in the US
Army was receiving
despite not having been promoted to even the lowest active duty
Private First Class.
I concluded my military career without so much as a single stripe on my