Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Today 38 Years Ago Armor Officers Basic #21 Started

Armor Officers Basic #21 ran from 13 May 70 to 16 Jul 70. On May 13 the four AOB wives in MRS. LIEUTENANT had not yet met.

Here’s how Sharon Gold, one of the four wives, describes her husband’s return home from his first day of AOB:

The Fiat appears in the open area between the three buildings. Sharon races down the stairs. Robert gets out, looks around as if checking who else has arrived home, and locks the car door. He kisses her hello.

"How was it? What did you do?"

"Cool it," he says out of the side of his mouth. "Wait until we get upstairs."

They walk up the outside stairs of the building, then down the outer balcony to their apartment door. Sharon unlocks the door and lets Robert enter first, then she follows him back to the bedroom, where he immediately sheds his uniform.

"It went okay. There's about 30 of us in the class. We filled out forms and listened to lectures. Not much action yet."

She doesn't want Robert to see any "action." She wants him to spend a quiet two years in the army behind a desk somewhere – if possible in Washington or some other big city – where she can pretend to herself he's not part of the war machine.

"What were the lectures about?"

"Mostly administrative details, TDY pay, uniform allotment."

"What's TDY?"

"Temporary duty. That's what this assignment is for me. Same as going to Ft. Holabird for MI – military intelligence – training will be temporary. The assignment after that will be a permanent one."

"And we'll get housing provided then, right?"

He turns away from her, places his insignia on the dresser. "If it's an accompanied tour."

"What's that mean?"
His back is still towards her. "Unaccompanied tours are to combat areas – Vietnam."

Sharon sits down on the edge of the bed. "Did they say anything about the chances of your going to Vietnam?"

Robert shakes his head.

To read the first four chapters of MRS. LIEUTENANT -- one from the point of view of each of the four women -- go to www.mrslieutenant.com and click on READ THE NOVEL.

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