I don’t recall how I got to Columbia, South Carolina. It's difficult to believe that I rode all the way from Brooklyn to Fort Jackson by bus, but I don't think I had flown, since it would have been the first time I was in the air, I'm sure I would have remembered it. (But as it is, I don't know when it was that I first flew - although I remember the sensations of taking off and landing - very exhilarating, and still is - and so, it may very well have been that first day in the US Army.)

However, I DO remember looking out the window of the bus as we drove to our reception station in Fort Jackson. It was VERY eerie, surreal. (The military is surreal - hallucinogenic - deadly.)

The image that still sticks most in my mind are the hand to hand combat dummies that hung in various training areas. Olive drab green, totally featureless, rather like stuffed stick figures, they hung ominously in the morning light. I thought they were bayonet practice dummies. I thought, “oh god, I'm in the army, someone is going to die”.

I didn't die, but many did. Their names are on a wall in Washington, DC.

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