Military Blogs > Ft. McPerson...My Second Home

Ft. McPerson...My Second Home

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1 year ago
It seems I spent more time there than My Pop did. The theatre there cost 10 cents for a movie. I found that out one saturday when they were having a party for all the families associated w/Mac. I love going to movies. I always have. Just like books, they take you places you have never been. Dreamlike worlds far away from reality. Ronald MacDonald was going to come and hand out gifts to all of us. Then we would see 4 hours of cartoons. We were all excited. I wanted to take My new best friend, but alas, she was a "civilian". When Moma dropped us off walking into its lobby was pure magic for Me. Posters of up co ming films. A self serve popcorn machine!!! 10 cents for a huge box. Cokes were 5 cents for a whole 8 oz. green glass bottle!!! That means I could save My allowance for the week and go to the movie and still have 75 cents left over. Man, those were the days. Another perk of Army life. I forget what movie it was I saw there on Post. Might have been Mothra VS Godzilla. I know I asked if My friends could go. My "civilian" friend was amazed at the cost. I think off Post was a whole 25 cents to see a movie then. Life was so young and carefree. It never really registered that One brother was a Green Beret. The other in the Navy, stationed in Morrocco at a base that wasn't made public until the late 80's by the Secretary of the Navy, Ratch Armitage. Don't ask Me what Ratch's first name was. I only knew him as that, when he'd come over to hang out w/My oldest brother. They played football together I think. I had not seen him since the time he came over in his dress blues to show off for us. Man, he was handsome. So, proud too. He was another "added" brother. So, it was nothing when I heard his voice in a briefing. "Moma, Ratch is on TV!!!" I shouted out. Then laughed, as I merely recognized a voice I had not heard at that time, in over 20 years. He and My brother are still friends. I was raised in a Military household where "Loose Lips Sink Ships". I knew{then, it escapes Me now} the name of the base he was stationed at. But I would have died before admitting it to anyone, less it cost the lives of innocent personel protecting our freedoms. There was another sailor there with the same name as My brother. Only difference was what his middle name was. Both had the same spelling for first and last. Same middle intial. We were allowed Morale Calls. I'd ask Moma could we and a call would go through. We'd end up w/the other sailor. He was so happy to have a call he relayed our messages. He'd ask what was new stateside and we'd tell him. We even sent him cards and letters via My brother. Of course the odd chance he ever received a call My brother got it. Luckily for his birthday we made it to the right one. You could hear the homesick in his voice as we sang Happy Birthday to him. Cards, letters and care packages are vitally important for morale. I loved reading the letters My oldest brother would write. Once he was stationed in Panama, he wrote he was going to get Me a monkey. "Moma. do you think she'd like one as a pet..?" Moma knew better to ask, LOL. My brothers are 13 and 14 years older than Me. Here I was at 6 crying I didn't want My brothers to go away as they gave their second oath. I ran to the officer leading them through it and asked him to take it back. Please take it back. Don't take My brothers from Me they're the only ones I have. He may have been a big man in that starched uniform, but he had tears in his eyes too as he lifted Me and hugged Me and said they would be alright. You promise..??? You really promise I begged. He had to have been a Marine as I remember he had on white gloves. They became stained w/My tears as he wiped them away. He passed Me off to Moma. I watched as they directed My brothers where they were to go. I shot through the crowd to My oldest brother. Clutching his leg crying and begging him to come home, come home now and don't leave. All of 19 and grown. He side stepped and picked Me up. Told Me he'd be okay as God would watch over Him and our brother. They would be home before I knew it. Little consolation for someone who did not understand. Or that less than a week later one of My cousins would be standing there. as My brothers, giving his second oath as he joined the Air Force. 18 years old. He stayed w/us a week before he went. It was heaven having him there. I have always referred to him as My little brother as he was always visiting us and younger than My brothers. This time the Officer came to Me first and assured Me he would come home safe an sound as well. There was a delay in his leaving so we went to The Varsity for lunch. Every where that day were men in uniforms. That recruiting office is still there to My knowledge. When we went home after saying goodbye Pop was already there from work. I walked over to him and said, "Pop. now My brothers and cousin are gone. Make sure they come home. You can do it. You're an Officer." Pop had been stationed at the Pentagon at one point. I know he had pull. Somehow he kept My oldest brother from death in Panama when those other Green Berets disappeared. Do I know they are dead..? No, honestly I do not. But it has been such a long time. I would rather think they are stil P.O.W.'s than M.I.A.'s. Then they too can come home too. At a Fair one year they were selling bracelets for M.I.A's. I asked Moma could I get one. Then Nixon promised to bring every one home. I was so excited because in My heart My soldier would come home too. Nixon worked feverishly to get P.O.W's released. I knew as I bought every newspaper available I would find My soldier's name there. It was expesive to buy all the papers but I was deteremined I would find him. Finally they they printed the names of all service personel and each paper would have the list no matter what state they were from. Day after day I read the list. Checking to find his name. Slowly the list dwindled and final they stopped printing it as it was recorded all were back stateside. We were lving on Jekyll Island at the time. I was so angry and so sad. Where was My soldier..?!? Why didn't I find his name. I refused to remove the bracelet from My wrist. Every morning I would read the paper searching, looking for his name. I couldn't find the name of the company that sold the bracelets. I placed a call to Ft. MacPherson Myself and asked who I needed to speak w/about a soldier. I actually spoke w/the Base Comander at the time. I explained who I was and why I was inquiring about this soldier. Is he your father I was asked. No sir he is not. Are you related to him..? No sir I choked back tears as I knew what I was about to be told. I am sorry to inform you Miss. As you are not a relative I cannot release any information about him to you. I am deeply sorry to relate this to you. He said that there were still soldiers co ming home and to be cheerful that mine would too. The next morning I left the house before day break on My bike. The sting of the cold morning air reminded Me of the harsh reality that may have befallen him. Once at the beach I awaited the full sunrise. There I said a prayer for My soldier and tossed the bracelet into the sea. Tears of frustration on My cheeks. It seemed proper to do this. Of course a year later more service personel were released and names given. No way I could trace him as I lost documentation of his name. A new sadness befell Me. Until recently I came across a site about the bracelets sold during Vietnam. I hope to possibly find him as they have a nu mber listed. I hope to find he made it home alive and is well and happy. That is My project this co ming week.