Guest Writer: Sheila Clark
In January 1985, I went into the Army and headed to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina for boot-camp. I embarked on an adventure with new people in a new place; I was born in Kansas. I was given the chance to accomplish things I had not even dreamed I would or could do. I made new friends in the craziest ways and places. I slept, showered, worked, and played with a group of girls from different states which helped me learn a lot. I fired the LAW (M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon), shot an M16, and threw a hand grenade. I was having the time of my life.
I got to ride in a helicopter, so exciting. It was winter in Jackson and so it taught me how strong I could be in the elements when I really didn’t want to be in them. I learned how to march and call cadences, some that I still remember. It was time for A-school and I didn’t have to leave Ft Jackson. I became a driver for my unit which was called a runner. With boot-camp over, we women integrated with the men in school and oh how much fun that was!
After learning my trade, I was so gung-ho that I went to Airborne School and after five jumps, with a parachute, I earned my wings. The experience was a dream of mine since I was about eight years old when my Dad’s boss owned his own plane and took me for a flight; I was hooked. Then I began to wonder what it would be like to jump from one, and now I know what a great feeling it is. As time goes so fast for me it’s time for me to move on and in the Army they call that a change of duty station.
My school taught me how to type and put in data entries as well as file. My new station would be with the 5th Corps in Wiesbaden, West Germany. During the summer I would meet John Wise and we would visit Paris, France and Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, and locations across Germany before deciding to get married and bring Jessica into the world a year later.