A Weary Warrior Returns Home – 4 of 4

 

Redstone Arsental Building

Redstone Arsental Building

 

Leaving the Army

My ETS date arrived and I never was so glad to shed the army olive drab and beat a

Nike Zeus 1

Nike Zeus 1

retreat for a new location. The Sgt. Major called me in for the required re-enlistment talk and said he guessed it would do no good since obviously I would continue in the same manner and he told me that the best thing I could do was to go ahead and accept my discharge, wait at least thirteen months and then if I wanted to reenlist, my past records would be retired and I would be starting fresh.  He told me that the rest of the Army was not like what I had encountered there, and there were in fact several branches that had a promising future.  

I hung around Decatur, Alabama, for a couple of weeks, but the girl I had been seeing was not as serious as I thought, so I returned to central Illinois.   Thus ended my first tour of service in the US Army and my first prolonged period of time away from home.

 

Nike Missile Family

Nike Missile Family

NOTE: Pictures of Redstone Arsenal when I was there are extremely hard to come by as ninety percent of the post was classified area.  The photos I had taken were destroyed by a fire in a cargo trailer in 1973 and are irreplaceable.   I have a few stock photos pulled from the web that show the main gate, post headquarters, the Nike family. There is a lot of differing information concerning the Nike Zeus that was our first and only Anti-Ballistic Missile Missile until they were negotiated away. 

They speak of being fired from Kwajelin Atoll, but in reality our one active battery was located on Johnson Island north and slightly west of Hawaii and every year they would fire a missile from Vandenberg AFB and the Zeus would take it out.  I last witnessed a firing in 1980 and I do not know if any were fired after that. 

Of course the media put out the story that it was a missile that had gone astray and had to be destroyed.  Johnson Island was secretive and no visitors were allowed and the cover story was that was where all of our poison gas stores were isolated.

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