There are a few things memorable about my enlistment into the Air force. The first is the long wait between the time I signed the papers to be enlisted until the time I actually left for the first step of the enlistment.
The second was what happened at the induction center in Newark, NJ. There were many young men there all waiting for our enlistment physical. As much as I can recollect we were lined up and the medical technicians went from one person to the next to perform their respective tests.
Until that day I had never had any blood drawn from me. And of course the medical tech stuck the needle in me to find a vein and couldn’t find one right away. Then he started to jab the needle all around in my arm and being the strong young man I was I passed out! Yup, found myself on the floor! They still have trouble finding the right spot in my arm. I warn them ahead of time so it’s not so bad.
The third thing was that I took my first and second airplane ride that day. This was in 1959 so most of the airplanes were propeller driven. But my first plane ride was in a Boeing 707 jet to San Antonio Texas. I didn’t think that was so bad. When we got to San Antonio we were transferred to an Air Force two engine prop driven, I think, C-47. That wasn’t so bad either.
However, we were taken to Lackland Air Force Base for the first part of basic training and there things took a decided turn for the worse!
Whatever you heard about basic training is true. We “cattle” were herded into buses and taken to our barracks where the indoctrination started. I knew from talking to guys that had gone through “basic” about what to expect.