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Jim Criswell - Horns - 1972-1973
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In 1972 I left home right after I turned 18 and enlisted in the Air Force.  We were still at war with Vietnam, and the government was using a "draft numbering" system like a lottery to see who would be drafted. My number was something like 326 out of 355, so it was really unlikely that I would have been drafted, so I enlisted instead. It wasn't long after basic training that I discovered the Keesler AFB Drum & Bugle Corps when I was transferred to Keesler for electronic training.  I was in the Keesler D&B Corps from 72-73.  Playing a two-valve baritone, I seemed to fit right in.  We dormed in the old two-story barracks across from the BX.  We marched every day for troop change, different ceremonies and what not. Two of my biggest thrills in life were to march in a pregame show in New Orleans at the Superdome for an NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints, the other being able to march in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade! They had us marching in front of Pete Fountain's convertible limousine, and let me tell you, he was lit! (I think a lot of people were that day!)


     I did have some excellent pictures from my "bum-out" when I received my rope, but they were destroyed by a flood a few years ago. I do think I may have some other pics somewhere, I'll try to find them.  I'm so glad someone is doing a webpage for the Blue Knights...there was one a while back but it seemed rather inactive.  I did go back to Keesler TDY sometime in 74 I believe and visited the Corps, and remember that there was a photo album of every Corpsmen that had been there...it would be nice if that photo album was still around, and the pics could be scanned and posted on the net! I had volunteered to do that a while back, but don't think the pics were available or the email may never have gotten through...



(This) pic on my website was actually an 8X10 glossy that someone took, and somehow it miraculously made it through all these years. The tuba player in formation behind me was a guy named Richard Kroll from Arizona, Phoenix I believe. I remember other names too. I found a fellow corpsman a few years back by the name of Cass Gowins, from Ohio. He was easy to look up on the internet. Seems the more unique the name, the easier it is to find.

I live near San Antonio now, and work (believe it or not) at Lackland AFB! I am a contractor for Lockheed Martin and we do the computer support for Wilford Hall Medical Center.




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