As I proceed thru this exercise of dealing with these “traumas” that I never realized were traumas… it seems the most important aspect of this, is simply “agreeing” with the fact that what I have just seen… is true… it is quite a thing to discover how my brain has excused, covered up or whatever, to make someone or something else responsible for the “condition”… I needed to admit the truth… what was actually there…having done that, proceed to writing about it… putting it “out there” puts some kind of freeing seal on the whole thing… and I know I am finally free.
So… the hero… joins the National Guard. It is 1953. He fits right in big time. The ROTC background, trick drill, theatre, the wannabe hero all blend together to make Phil Wolff the super recruit! I soon became a favorite of the first soldier and company commander. My CO called me in to tell me how they needed someone in the kitchen and asked me to go to Cook and Bakers School at Fort Dix in Jersey. How could I say no. I was needed.
I even became a hero by fulfilling the CO’s dream of being the only unit at Summer Camp to serve fresh baked goodies in our mess hall. First time ever, since most units just picked up baked goods at the grocery store…. 🙂 My CO was beaming as he invited the officers from the other units to join us for fresh baked desserts.
In 1955, my CO calls me in again… the hero is now Sergeant E-5 Phil Wolff the company cook…. He is offering me a National Guard appointment to West Point. The hero has an opportunity to get a free education, come out an officer and serve his country as a real soldier, just as he has always wanted.. What does Phil Wolff do. He turns down the offer.
Today, I can admit much more about that, than I could back then. Phil Wolff hated school. Phil Wolff did not want to get shot at in any real combat situation. Officers were the first to get shot. I knew all about that from watching so many war movies.
Besides… Phil Wolff was a good little Catholic boy approaching his 20th birthday and needed to find some young lady who would be willing to marry him. Wives were not a part of West Point.
Glad to be free of that one…. 🙂