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Old 02-22-2011, 07:39 PM
Joe21 Joe21 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Clemson, SC
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Default Prelude to Military Service

For the past ten years I have been writing stories about high school and college football before WW2 as well as some of the lighter moments during my time as a member of the armed forces during WW2 and the Korean War.

My stories in the past have not been presented in any chronological order but were the result of my jotting down a few lines when some particular event spurred and stirred my memory. I now realize a little background information, or a prelude, so to speak, may have helped to understand the conditions existing at that time and how it affected those who eventually were called to serve their country.

Those of us who served during WW2 grew up during the great depression. That event had a profound effect on everyone, both young and old.Those living on farms were fortunate, at least they could produce almost all of their food needs. But money was scarce and even the bare essentials were considered a luxury. Those who had food shared with their friends and neighbors. My family was extremely fortunate. My Dad was a railroad agent and was never out of a job.

In the late 1930's, the country was slowly recovering from the depression just as the war clouds were gathering over Europe. I completed my high school in 1939 and, along with a few friends, soon entered the University of Florida. My tuition was $27.00 per semester. New books cost about $40. to $50. but I always bought used books at about half that amount.

War was soon raging in Europe. Alhough the United States was not yet at war, we were gearing up our manufacturing facilities to supply our allies with needed materials. The United Sates was also expanding its military forces. Realizing the United States would eventually be drawn into the conflict and the strong possibility that my friends and I would be among those called to serve in the armed forces, our concentration on academic issues left much to be desired. We were at a crossroads. Several of my friends and i decided we would leave school at the end of the 1941 spring semester and get a job. Each one of us went to work for the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) RR in Waycross, GA.

Soon after beginning work with the railroad, the Selective Service System (SSS), better known as the Draft Board, lowered the draft age to 20. I was not yet 20 but several of my friends had just recently reached that magic number and had to register immediately. In November, when I reached my 20th. birthday, I dutifully visited the Post Office and registered for the draft. When a person registered for the draft, they were assigned a number. When additional manpower was requested by the armed forces, numbers were drawn, similar to that of a lottery. The numbers were listed in the newspapers so we knew when our number was listed, we would soon be receiving a personal invitation to report to the local draft board.

My next story will give you an inside look at what happened when my number came up and was caught in the draft.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:10 AM
SpillerForHeisman SpillerForHeisman is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 747
Default Re: Prelude to Military Service

Joe great story. Would love to hear your perspective on if you see any similarities to the 30's and 40's to today from a what is going on in the world perspective
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:52 PM
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cubarb1991 cubarb1991 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Greenville
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Default Re: Prelude to Military Service

Thanks Joe...keep them coming.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:40 PM
Tiger80 Tiger80 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Georgia
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Post Re: Prelude to Military Service

My Dad graduated from Clemson in 1940. He served from about that time until he was released from active duty about 1946. He was an Armor officer in the 3rd Armored Division. He was recalled to active duty for Korea and remained in the US Army until he retired as a Colonel. He had a language specialty of Spanish so we lived in Cuba, Panama, and Peru.
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