My first recollection is that I thought I was joining a Drill Team. If I remember correctly, we had a briefing prior to going to our assigned squadrons. I want to say it was at the 3419th. Anyway, I signed up and was off to the races. First “Boot” activity was walking crowd control at a Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans. I still had to wear that stupid wheel cap. Got goosed a bunch of times too. The bus ride back Keesler was a culture shock. I was fresh out of BMT and here are all these “old timers” singing and drinking, very non-military bearing. I did relax though. ;-)
Rhyse Berman was my “trainer”, I can’t remember the real term. Roommates include Mark Butler and Rob Mayer, both horns. I remember lots of performances – a strip mall opening, a little town somewhere in Mississippi – marching through allies and such, the Super Dome where the tritoms sounded like thunderbolts, marching through the French Quarter, the World’s Fair and dropping my rifle in front of the Air Force Rifle team (never lost my military bearing though), a few on base functions and of course playing at the Bomb Run all those times. Keesler memories include mooing as we extended for PT, the BONE cadence, some guys trying to mess with Rob Mayer and I on one of those goofy weekend “recons” through the dorms, a canoeing trip, Lt. Skeens – who as it turns out was from my hometown, AFI in CQ for two weeks and doing bed checks during that time, SSgt Effler (the Bone).
People I remember – ‘Papa’, Roberta Canuez(sic) Rifle Sergeant when I got in, Mark Butler, Rob Mayer, Tom Hannett, Rhyse Berman, the four members of KISS, Rich Kirchner.
I was the Corps
academic advisor (Green rope) and eventually
a Dubbed Blue Knight.
I still have beret, scarf, and horseshoe taps. The jump boots are in the closet, but have crack along creases. Those were the best boots ever.