America’s fighting machine circa 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on Thursday April 4, 1968. I was in basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. We were close to finishing basic training and the Army was going to let us have leave for the whole weekend. Because of the riots and fighting close by in New Jersey, the Army cancelled our leave.

The next weekend was Easter and by then the riots had pretty much ended, but not the scars. The Army gave us a few hours of leave on Easter Sunday. Since I only lived about 10 miles away from Fort Dix, I invited a few of my new Army buddies home for Easter dinner.

That’s me on the left, then Don Wyman, Chuck Wilder and Ron Walker on the far right. I know you are asking yourself, how did he remember their names after almost 42 years? Easy we had a basic training yearbook. Notice all of my friends’ names start with a “W”? That’s the Army for you, everything was done alphabetically back then. We were all in the same squad and on the same page of the yearbook.

2 Responses to “America’s fighting machine circa 1968”

  1. Mark says:

    I know how you remember their names. It is tough to forget basic and the battle buddies you had. The year books help too but I still remember my drill sergeants and my two battle buddies and a couple others.

    What an experience it was.

  2. Bob Goodwin says:

    I have a copy of pages from the yearbook. I did not know there even was one, then a buddy sent me pages from his. C-6-2 Fort Dix, NJ, 9/9/1968 through 12/31/1968. I severely sprained my ankel and was recycled to STC (Special Training Company). Never forget it. They also sent those culled for phyche problems and put them there. I truly felt like an inmate having to live with those with many extreme mental problems. My “girl” (now my wife) had a brother in Toms River so she could come see me on Sunday’s. I felt she was visiting the stockade. Talk about memories. I’d love to get a hold of my cycles yearbook. Best wishes. –Bob Goodwin