Defense Mapping School
3 Jan 2017
GreetingsT3 Folks -
I have to begin my email with some sad news as we lost a member of one of our sister Topo affiliates, Fran Carter. Fran Carter was the secretary to our very own COL Dave Maune when he was Commander and Director of ETL and TEC from June 1988 to November 1991. Personally I didn’t know Fran but none the less I am saddened by the news. For those of you that knew Fran from what I was told knew a very fine woman. Rest in Peace Fran.
Now on to my non sensible garble. I’m getting later all the time - First things first - belated happy holidays and of course Happy New Year! Time has been going way too fast. For me today is sort of an anniversary - it was fifty-one years ago today that I entered into the US Army. Sort of super hard to believe for me. I’ll never forget when I first went in. Reporting time was sometime around 0800 on Monday the 3rd of January. My dad took my friend Ron and I to the induction station in Hackensack, New Joizey. I heard that my dad used to tell the story that when I walked from the car and headed to the induction station that I “never looked back”. He would tell the story while crying. I told him years later that “Dad, did you ever think that perhaps I couldn’t?” Sort of makes me feel misty now. I lost my Dad in 1989 shortly after getting my civilian job at DMS. He was a great man and I still miss him. That induction day was memorable for several things. The first was breakfast - “you should have eaten before you came here!”. Ok, lunch was only a couple hours away. Lunch, so they called it, was at a slop house across the street. Literally not worth eating. Those of you that can’t believe I would never turn down a meal you are right - no way would I call that a meal. Told my friend “we’ll just wait until we get to the base” (Fort Dix). Well as luck would have it we didn’t get to Dix until after the mess hall was closed for the night. Had to wait for breakfast. That breakfast was my first indoctrination into SOS. One bite, one little bite and I was out the door calling SOS to my mom. I cried telling her how bad the food was. Memories - some stink.
I had another memory pop me in the face Christmas. I was passing out bulletins after midnight Mass and I was telling folks that turned one down that they could always use it to wrap a last minute small Christmas gift. It brought up what was until then a forgotten memory. As most of you know, or at least some of you know, or perhaps those that served with me are trying to forget I worked mostly in Print at DMS during my twenty years as a civilian and another eleven bouncing around on active duty. In Print students learned how to print two colors of a four color map. Years earlier it used to be a four color map but someone realized “hey, if they can print two colors they can print four” so the course got shortened a bit and the students printed two colors. (uh, oh - off on a tangent again). Sort of a brilliant cost saving suggestion that I am sure someone got a few bucks for suggesting it. The maps we had were Quantico, Fort Belvoir (where?) and Cliffdale (Fort Bragg area). And then the Cliffdale map got eliminated saving more bucks. Anyway we always had a super good supply of student practical exercise stacked up for the recycle folks. One of the things that we used them for was wrapping farewell gifts. Look at that - all those sentences leading to a baker’s dozen amount of words. Sorry about that. Anyway the map sheets were plentiful (government property I know) but very effective. We usually used the Fort Belvoir maps and had the area of the school centered on the gift. And to keep from going to jail I’ll add in that right after they got ripped of the gifts they got put back in the recycle bin. Sorry - another recycle memory - the student map sheets were required to be stacked up on a pallet and then sent to “Logistics” for later transportation to the Agency for recycling. Either Keith Voizey or Jeff Hamn would come over and bind the sheets to the pallet before coming over with the fork lift and hauling them to next door. On this one particular day they were out of binding wire (I should call Keith and ask him the right name - sure I’ll get a call about it now). So the pallet full of map sheets was carefully moved to the rear doors of building 214. (Bagley Hall of course) and Jeff came over with the forklift. He very carefully picked up the skid and as he was backing off the slight ramp the pallet teetered and tottered and finally tipped over. The thing that I will never forget besides the look on Jeff’s face was how neat the student made register marks looked on the spread out sheets. If you don’t know what a register mark is I just wasted you time. Anyway it was awesome.
And now an update for our possible 100th Anniversary in May of 2018. Based on the response I have received we still will only need two picnic tables but we are up to three pizzas and some bread sticks. At our last get together dinner I got some favorable responses. What I need is help in locating people. I don’t have that many email addresses. If you know anyone that graced the halls of our campus during the past hundred years please ask them if they receive my boring messages. I need help folks. I have less than ten percent of those that worked with us contact information. I need to get with Ray Chapman and see what kind of website publicity we can generate. WWW.BelvoirDMS.org is the fun place.
I mentioned last month about my being a character witness at an upcoming murder trial. Thank you Lylton Jackson for asking about it. It was postponed until March. So I will march on from there.
Poor Redskins - I just heard Barney Free laugh.
And thanks to Harold Hester who keeps sending me stuff for Ray and I keep forgetting. I must do that this month! Thanks again Hess - you have always supported our site and it is fully appreciated.
Next get together - same beautiful place - The China King across from Potomac Mills in Woodbridge for lunch - sometime during lunch time but preferably around 1130 hours. My World War II friend, Gene Tatum, is planning on attending again as is Allen Anderson, Agency HOFr, who I believe is our oldest living Alumni along with his classmate Herb Boothroyd who is risking sunburn in Florida .
And once again Happy New Year!