When I was called to the commanders office December of 1963, I was not prepared for what he said.  He first put me at ease and said a few words about what a good soldier he thought I was.  I nodded and waited for the other shoe to  drop.  Then he told me that I had been selected to attend Officers Candidate School, Fort Benning, Ga.

I was not sure what it meant and I said so.  He explained that when and if a candidate becomes an (OCS) graduate he is promoted to second

lieutenant in the Infantry.  He continued that I was enrolled in the next class  scheduled in less than two months.

When he said Lieutenant, I was thrilled that I would have the chance for a promotion such as this. 

He continued that the six month course was extremely demanding both physically and academically, but I had stopped listening.  I was thinking how thrilled Phyllis would be to be leaving Germany.  When I was dismissed, I saluted, and hurried home to share the good news.

Phyllis was excited about the news.  We started hugging and laughing.     Rick knew something big was going on by the way he reacted to our excitement.   We started planning, thinking and talking how fortunate we were.   Germany was a hardship tour.

The next day I learned the departure date was a month away.  Well, we could do that standing on our heads.  Since we would be restricted on how much we could take with us, we had to think about things to sell or give away.  Never too soon to plan.

First thing, I had to get into shape.  I would likely be the oldest candidate in my platoon and the weakest would be eliminated first.  I didn’t want be first, nor last but somewhere in between.   Run, Run and Run some more.

Our small family was excited.  We’re going home.