My wife and I have been watching a lot of "paranormal sightings" type of TV shows during the past month. The ideas planted in one's head are mind boggling as to what is really out there or perceived to be out there.
I have always thought that Bagley Hall, building 214, was haunted in some way. Over the years that had been a lot of unexplained happenings on the press floor. It had been suspected that someone was coming in at night and mal-adjusting presses just before the day of a student's test on the press. We always had the presumption that someone during the night before had sabotaged our students test and actually referred to him or her as a "Gremlin". We even went as far as putting out some wire and string that would have to break should someone walk on the press floor during the night. But we were never able to prove anything. .
The supernatural never really came into play but then again could it have been?
On several occasions in building 214 I had an eerie presence of a spirit. If you have the memory of building 214 try and imagine the front entrance into the press floor. If you entered 214 from the front right door and went straight you would have a set of double doors in front of you leading to the press floor. In the years prior to the renovation of '95 right there on the right was a door leading to one of our supply storage closets. For a good period of time there was a scale there with one of those slide bars that you had to move a weight until the swinging bar balanced on the indicator telling you your weight. I used to step on it often to see what type of punishment I had given my body from the local Chinese buffet. Now on to the eerie presence mentioned above. On one of my trips onto the scale as I was sliding the weight I felt someone tap on my right shoulder. I turned to see who it was. There was no one there. And then it happened again. I kind of shook it off but still felt a small sense of violation. Perhaps another month went by, I didn't keep track of the dates and only hind sight at this point wishes I did, I was back on the scale doing the weighing process again. This time the bar just started bouncing up and down rapidly. I turned with a smile on my face to see who was stepping on the scale playing games with me.
No one was there. I shook that off also.
I didn't place any type of paranormal thoughts in my head but perhaps should have after the next happening. As mentioned a few sentences above prior to the '95 renovation we had a small store room to the right of the double doors. One day I opened the door to get something from the store room and the force that met me at the door felt like someone trying to get out of the room. The door almost knocked me down. Who pushed the door open? Once again there was no one there. There seemed to be several other times in that area of the building that there seemed to be another presence. Looking back on it all I could think of was the spirit of Tom O'Brien, known to his friends as "OB", who had passed away in the 90's. Was it his spirit? With the sudden popularity of paranormal type of TV shows I had put it in my mind to return to 214 to see if I could raise any type of spiritual feelings. I gave it a lot of thought and before I knew it I was finding something that I would have had when Tom worked there. It was a piece of paper. I tore off a piece of it and put it in my pocket. In no time I was entering the back door of our abandoned 214. The press floor of course has no more presses as the building is in the process of a complete renovation again but this time for new tenants. I still sort of felt an eerie presence of the presses. No students, no presses but the shape of the floor rekindled a lot of memories.
As I headed to the aforementioned double doors I noticed the scale was still there. Wow! It put an instant smile on my face. No one was there to challenge my presence but I continued to walk through. I almost went back to step on the scale one more time to see what I weighed but something kept me walking. Going though the double doors into the old hallway leading down to where the head shed used to be revealed a change in the building that I did not expect. There were actually several offset duplicators there all in a row. I commented to myself that I didn't like the way they were configured but continued my tour while I was holding that piece of paper in my hand. With that a door opened and there was a tour of Army officers and some civilians walking through. The lead officer made me do a double take. It was uncanny how much he looked like Colonel Ed Wintz who was the Director of DMS when I got there in '75. They walked into another area and I sort of followed them and once again my mind got blown as there were several large offset presses there. I didn't recognize the brand name and I took a couple of pictures. I saw a couple of familiar faces as I subconsciously put that piece of paper in my pocket. I took a few more pictures of the presses before feeling a sense of loss for the piece of paper as that was the real reason for my return. I got the paper in my hands with the intent to see if I could raise any type of presence of a spirit when the unthinkable happened. I woke up because my bladder told me to. But wow, what a dream! The parts about the scale, press floor and storage room door are true. Watching the paranormal things on TV influenced my dream last night. The TV shows also influenced my thoughts that perhaps our presses were maladjusted by a spirit of a disgruntled past student or perhaps OB himself who was our safety officer until Lou Gehrig's Disease took him away from us way too early.
Hope you enjoyed my memories and my dream. I did.
The Haunted Bagley Hall
214 "Bagley Hall" Revisited
"Ralph was quite a character.' I remember during Winter REFORGER 85 we were in downtown Giessen and decided to hop into the local McDonalds for a quick bite.' Of course we were both in uniform.' As we were going through the main entrance a couple of teenage German girls were headed out and as we passed they made some disparaging comments about us. 'Ralph stopped, turned and unloaded on them in perfect German.' They damned near dropped their bags, they were so surprised.
Ralph was one of the few Carto warrants that was not forced by the Army to convert to the Terrain Analysis field. 'He was close enough to retirement that they let him stay Carto.' He also extended repeatedly to stay in Germany to finish paying off his house.' Ralph figured out that the way the variable housing allowance rules were written it would also cover house purchases, not just rent. 'So Ralph went up into the Taunus Mountains above Frankfurt, found a nice house in a quiet little village, signed a purchase contract at almost twice his BAH rate, went to Finance with the contract and had them make up the difference in variable housing allowance; Ralph had Uncle Sam making his mortgage payments for him, plus a bit extra for utilities!'
Ralph also stuck around V Corps because he had become, effectively, the Corps staff translator. 'Whenever we did something with the Bundeswehr Ralph went along. 'He did a great job at learning all the common technical military jargon, doctrine and concepts in both English and German and could easily translate the concepts between the two languages. 'For example, we did a terrain walk along the Rhine one day with a German engineer brigade to discuss river crossing operations and who was going to do what in each zone. 'Ralph intuitively understood both US and German river crossing doctrine and could easily translate not just the language but the concepts between the two militaries.'
When Ralph and I last talked he was planning to buy a small pub and hotel in Ireland (his wife was Irish).' He and his wife would frequently vacation in Ireland and he always liked the idea of running a hotel.' It looks like that didn't work out since he ended up back in the States.
I first met Ralph in 1982 while attending MC&GOC, but I knew about him before I even reported in.' All the MC&GOC grads at FT Bragg talked a lot about 'Rotten Ralph' and what a character he was.' His well practiced epithet "damned schtudents!" was known far and wide.'
I'm sorry to learn he passed away in 2010 and would have liked to sit down and talked with him a time or two before he left us.
On your LEFT you see Ralph was AF before making an Army CW1.
Before closing I have to say that across my 23 year career, most of it spent in the topographic and terrain analysis field, I and my peers always found the support DMS provided to be outstanding.' Whether it was holding a class slot for one of our soldiers rushing up on a last minute TDY, putting together an MTT on press operations, giving us a heads up on the good and bad performers going through BTAC and might be headed our way, to answering some particularly tricky technical question on how to get the MISP plotters properly configured.' Whenever I dialed the phone someone at the 'schoolhouse' always answered and got me the help I needed.' I deeply appreciate the support you provided.
I started my Northing & Easing blog because I feel that the history of topography & map making doesn't get the attention is deserves, and in particular the Army's contribution to the effort.' By any measure the Army Map Service was one of the premiere mapping agencies in the world, yet you have to dig hard and deep to find any substantive history about it.' It's as though the Corps of Engineers are embarrassed by their history.' I'd bet a month's wages that if you walked into a conference of senior Engineer officers and asked the question "Can you name the agency that developed the Military Grid Reference System?" all you'd get back are blank stares.
Well that's about it for now.' Gents, thanks for your time.' I'll keep checking out the DMS website and if I may I'd like to call on you occasionally for some assistance in some blog posts I'm putting together." Brian circa 1990 Please spend a few minutes with the author,Brian Haren at Brian's Mapping Blog
The DSS (Direct Support System) Have you ever been on a REFORGER Exercise?
As a refresher please walk with me for a bit: For each branch in the military there is a schoolhouse. For the Engineers it is the USAES. The school takes Ideas from the field and occasionally from amongst themselves, writes a Requirements Document and over a period of many years --- builds --- a prototype OR buys one off the shelve.... then they test it. There are several layers of testing but near the end is the Field Test A REFORGER. While this field exercise is not a "test" per sa everything the military does is scrutinized. The REFORGER 85 shown is just one of many. With any luck you might see someone you know as the DMS teaches the stuff used by our field commanders. Students and instructors alike become user of the DMS knowledge. Click on Image below.
DMS Famous Captain Tuttle
I don't know everything as to the origin of Captain Tuttle's fictitious assignment to DMS and more than likely some of the time line I am presenting will be a little off. With the technology of cut and paste and the glory of spell check I will try and get everything in perspective. First we will turn the clock back to the ever popular TV Series M*A*S*H*. The fifteenth episode of M*A*S*H* 'Tuttle' was first broadcast on January 14th, 1973. I will plagiarize a bit here from Wikipedia ' 'Tuttle - Hawkeye and Trapper invent a fictional Captain Tuttle (based on Hawkeye's imaginary friend from childhood), but one thing leads to another and soon everyone at the camp believes Captain Tuttle is real. This creates problems when General Clayton decides to honor Tuttle by placing his picture in the newspaper and awarding him a medal.'
Well Captain Tuttle in all his imaginary existence found himself reassigned to the Defense Mapping School in 1981 (wow, 30 years ago!).' The combined brainchild of CW3(Ret) Ralph Ruetze, CW3(Ret) Dave Miller (RIP) and MSG(Ret) Marlin Yelton had evidence of Captain Tuttle's existence all over the west side of the second floor on Wheeler Hall.' Yes, Captain Tuttle, unbeknownst to MILPERCEN as The Contour story said, was in all' his glory in the Mapping and Charting Division (MCD) within the Department of Topographic Sciences (TSD).' Knowing well the above trio of April Fool type of expertise I would put my money on Marlin Yelton (shown here on the right), a carto genius, for the exposure Captain Tuttle was given.' There was a painting hanging in the hallway with the artists name neatly written 'Tuttle'.' Originally Ruetze, Miller and Yelton shared an office.' 'Instructors Emeritus' was written on the front of their office door.' The names CW2 Ruetze, CW2 Miller, MSG Yelton and CPT Tuttle greeted someone looking at the door.' Entering the office of course revealed only three desks.' At that time there was no desk for Tuttle. '
Somehow our trio expanded on CPT Tuttle's assignment.
GySgt Leon Combs was an instructor in MCD being of hydrographic survey background. Leon was on orders to leave. Time for the trio to play a practical joke on Leon. Yours truly wrote an article for the 4 September 1981 issue of 'The Contour', which can be found on The Contour tab of this web site, welcoming 'Johnny' to TSD. The article began 'Unbeknownst to MILPERCEN CPT Tuttle has joined the ranks of MCD in the Topo Sciences Department.' That was the last part of the article that indicated he didn't exist although it was hinted a couple of times and most folks missed it. The article even referred to Tuttle's father being assigned to Korea during the Korean War. Tuttle's three children had the same names as Leon's, Tuttle's hobby was a 1951 pick-me-up truck that his father bought when he returned from Korea ' all things that would perk up Leon's interest. And to make things even more fun an empty desk in Leon's office was given a name plate with the captain's name on it. A flat officer's cap with captain bars on it was donated by the then Captain Greg Robinson and was moved daily. A coffee cup with a big black conspicuous T would rotate around the desk sometimes with coffee still in it. A request for supplies signed 'Captain T' was placed on Leon's desk. Tuttle's time sheet, the infamous DMS Form 13 would be completed and also placed on Leon's desk. Paperwork, lesson plans and the like would be rearranged daily ' get the picture? The only thing not there indicating the well used workplace of a DMS instructor was the DMS instructor himself. The day after the Contour article was published an OPS SGM, Gerry Watson, came up to TSD wanting to meet Tuttle. This went on and on for a good month before Leon caught on and the parts of the school sadly learned of his non-existence.
In life today we most often know of, or one yourself that growing up having an imaginary friend. I didn't but my sister did and she let me play with her's, sometimes. If you know of or are of an age you remember the 1970s '80s hit show M*A*S*H you know Captain Jonathan Tuttle. He was also a student and Instructor at the DMS. This is his story..
1962 - I had just rotated from France back to the D/Topo and the Commander, Colonel Azhar (spelling may be wrong) is presenting me an award that had followed me from SHAPE. Major Preusker XO is to my right.
SHAPE Hqs -- My Drafting office' 1958-1962' This picture has little to do with DMS but I seriously wanted you to see it. We are just outside Paris in the Napoleon Chateau in Fontainbleau. I am facing North as I was planning a project, my Englishman Corporal, Philip Davies and my Belgium OR-5 Sergeant Bernard Schwartz. I had to teach Bernard 'everything' about drafting because the only reason he was there was because he needed a NATO assignment for promotion. Philip was good but hated the military. The office was a converted maids living quarters just down a narrow hallway from Napoleon's own living quarters. Teaching at DMS prepared me well for the NATO assignment. DMS is a Purple school and NATO is (at that time) made up of seven nations. The graphics we produced were always interesting as many times directions and specification got lost in translation. Have I mentioned the unisex - bathrooms? It was GREAT duty.
August 1965. My Drill Team is receiving an award from COL Benjamin R. Bush. Engineer Center Brigade Commander. The 24 man team was made up of all volunteers from permanent cadre within D/Topo - most were instructors from all sections - We practiced on our own time to include week-ends and late (after work into the evenings) every day (nasty weather we used Specker Field House). We used the Garand M-1 with hand polished bayonets. Each member furnished their own TW (Tropical Worsted) summer uniform and winter Class-As all had razor creases. I was always extremely proud of them. From the Drill Teams birth on Belvoir in the mid-1950's until the early 1970's we were the only such team available to the Army and performed by requests at Foot ball half-times, Military parades with a 12 to 21 minute precision drill routine, Street Parades, Honor Cordons and hundreds of military funerals (others than those held at Arlington). We constantly recruited new and back-up members from ALL units on Belvoir but only D/Topo and it's exceptional people ever volunteered. What rewards or privileges did they receive? Other then the knowledge of being the best they could be - nothing.PLUS they threw some damn-good beer parties at the rod & gun-club. I seem to remember a very steep hill from the basin to Belvoir Road. It's even steeper when you are crawling.
This is not the entire team from my early 1960s picture. Recognize anyone? One or more just might have been your instructor or you worked for them - later. Click photo to view.
Time passes, perhaps only a couple of months, and Leon Combs had transferred to South Carolina. CPT Greg Robinson, promoted to Major, departed I believe to the Corps of Engineers in DC. And now the then CPT Robert Kirsch was assigned as the Mapping, Charting and Geodesy Officer's Course (MCGOC) as the Course Coordinator. Almost immediately upon assignment to DMS Bob Kirsch learned of Captain Tuttle's ghostly tenure in MCD. Often he would make a comment as to the fact that CPT Tuttle had not gone to MCGOC and needed to. Well yours truly, among my many tasks in MCD, was responsible for getting the student desks ready for the MCGOC. On this one particular day I was preparing the desks placing name tags on them based on a class roster I was given. The class was set up for 24 students. My roster had only 21 names. Three empty desks! CPT Tuttle had his vacancy! So a name plate for CPT Tuttle was placed on one of the rear desks just for fun (I thought).
Perhaps ten minutes after I did that CPT Kirsch walked into the classroom and was looking at the names on the desks. 'We have a Captain Tuttle?' was his excited comment. Then he looked at me, read my face perfectly, and just walked out of the room shaking his head and laughing. That was supposed to be the end of it.
Enter LTC(Ret) Ed Franke (RIP), the DMS Registrar. The MCGOC previously had a student name Alan Waitkus who somehow finagled (thank-you spell check) his way into the MCGOC without orders. Al was assigned to the Engineer School and would later that year would grace our classrooms as an instructor. Anyway Ed Franke was not about to let another student attend MCGOC without orders and for the first time and only time during my four year tour there came up to the second floor of Wheeler Hall to assert his authority. The day prior to the students reporting he walked into the classroom to compare his roster to the names on the desk. It seemed like no time before he came out of the classroom into the hallway bellowing 'I have no orders for a Captain Tuttle!'. Air Force Captain Alan Cobb was the MCD OIC at the time. Ed Franke's rage had mustered a group of course honchos in the hallway including myself, a peon in the system. Capt Cobb casually looked at me and asked 'Sergeant Batt do you have any orders on Captain Tuttle?' 'Uh, sure thing Sir, I'll be right back'. A fast trip into the office, the removal of someone else's orders from a previous class, a few swipes with 'Wite out', the name Johnny P. Tuttle typed (yes, we had those primitive things called typewriters back then!) in place of the name removed and then a quick trip to the Xerox. It perhaps took a long three minutes to accomplish that bit of forgery. I gave the CPT Tuttle orders to Capt Cobb who glanced at them and gave them to Ed Franke. 'Oh no' shouted Ed. Capt Cobb and I just looked at each other as if to say 'Hey, that guy is good!' when Ed continued 'these orders don't have him going TDY in route to the course'. Hmmmm, he got us! Capt Cobb calmly looked at me and said 'Sergeant Batt, do you have an amendment to these orders?' 'Sure thing Sir' and the race to the file cabinet and the snowpaque and typewriter got used again. And just for added measures 'Security clearance: Secret Final' was added. The new orders then went though the same chain ' first to Capt Cobb for approval and then to Ed Franke. 'Ah, that's better' and the orders went into a file folder he was carrying. This was the beginning of a second practical joke involving CPT Tuttle but this time aimed at poor Ed Franke. Ed was due to retire in a month or two and his penchant for the rules was what fueled this on'¦.. and on'¦and on. The DMS Director then was COL William Stockhausen.
The Director always greeted all new MCGOC classes, welcoming them. A sheet of information was presented to the Director with the student's name, rank, where he/she was coming from and going to, level of education and field of expertise. In order to keep the legendary CPT Tuttle enrolled in MCGOC he had to be on that form. He was coming from the 4077th Engineer Battalion, had a degree from Berlin Polytechnic, etc. All M*A*S*H* historical facts. We told COL Stockhausen about our on-going trick on Franke and not to pay attention to Tuttle's information. No problem there. Tuttle's name was put on the attendance form submitted to OPS, a form that Franke monitored daily. After a fast week or two CPT Kirsch said to me 'this Captain Tuttle thing is going to have to stop'. 'Why Sir?'. 'Because I can't submit a grade for him without messing up the class average'. 'Sir all you have to do is give him the class average'.
'Hmmmmmmmmmm'¦..'. And so Johnny lived on a while longer. It was supposed to stop when Ed retired. Well he extended a couple of months for some reason. The attendance forms would always have Tuttle absent for some reason or another. To make things even sweeter the OPS OIC was Major Yokem (hope I spelled that right) and he was also attending the same course! He went along with our joke on Franke and didn't say a word. The class leader always managed to find a different reason for Tuttle being absent ' sick call, late, emergency leave, etc. And the same grade as the class average would be presented, 92.3, 88.54, 93.1 etc as Tuttle's score. When the class had to go to a classified briefing because of the classification on his faked orders Tuttle was granted access. Kind of a scary thing to think about it and one of the main reasons this wound up blowing up in our faces. A non-existent person being granted access to classified information is not something for someone to be proud of. Anyway this went on for the entire duration of the course and next thing we know we got a signed diploma with Captain Johnny P. Tuttle's name on it. He passed!! LTC George Desrocher, OIC for TSD, called it 'a feather in my cap'. We were all proud, yes we were. Our CPT Tuttle TSD epic had reached a glorious summit. Or had it? A couple of months later, Ed Franke has retired and is gone. Sadly he passed away only two months later. Anyway SGM Phil Tarr, OPS SGM, walks up to the OPS OIC Major Yokem's desk (remember that Major Yokem was in Tuttle's class?) and says, 'Sir, we just got a notice from MILPERCEN that they couldn't post Captain Tuttle's diploma in his records because they couldn't find him'. 'That's right, he didn't exist'. 'Huh?' 'TSD made him up'. And although Wheeler Hall was of a higher elevation than Bagley Hall the you know what flowed down hill fast and the blame was passed down from LTC, to Major, to Captain and it settled on a Staff Sergeant. Yup, I got the blame. I don't think Phil Tarr talked to me for a good year. Anyway, COL Stockhousen was made aware of the situation. He wrote a letter of reprimand basically to the whole department. In his statement one of the sentences that for now will never be forgotten was that he, even though was aware of the practical joke we were playing on Ed Franke, 'would not stand for anymore of this tomfoolery of any type'. That prompted Bob Kirsch to comment to me 'what do say we enroll Major Tom Foolery in the next class?' Well that didn't happen. CPT Tuttle got reassigned and the last thing we heard about him was one of his classmates calling me to say he bumped into Tuttle at an airport. We'll never forget you Johnny.
If this were in color the scarf is bright Red, White Fourragere (special authorization from DOD) and Red and white shoulder patch (Engineer Training & School Command) insignia.
This "story" might not turn out to be just a "story" but a testimonial to the DMS. You see DMS and it's very special and select people shaped my military and civilian life -- forever.
Born and raised in the south my background in "Life's lessons" was sorely lacking in any social graces. I have a college degree, but that was all book learning. My father was a drunk, a major womanizer and "doper", my mother was a petite, ΒΎ Cherokee Indian with jet black hair and carried a chrome plated .45 on a Smith and Wesson frame either on her person, hand bag or in a drawer in her beauty shop she owned and operated where keeping up with town gossip.
The time frame: The war years of the 1940s.
The year following college graduation the Selective Service Draft was still very much in affect. A knock on my door one sunny Saturday morning gave me the option of being drafted into one of our fighting army's forces or Enlisting. I had been a Captain in the University's ROTC so I pretty much knew I wanted no part of the Infantry, Armor or Artillery so I agreed to a 3 years Enlistment in the Corps of Engineers. Basic training then AIT at Belvoir at the D/Topo. You put a pencil or ruling pen in my hands and I am/was an artist. I turned out beautiful architectural drawings in the construction drafting (810) class. The school made me an instructor. I was scared shitless. Public speaking was not offered in college and most of my vocabulary began and ended in four letter words, thanks Dad and the sawmill I worked in from age 11 to 17. I now had to stand in front of a class of 30-32 recruits from the purple military that as a rule was four years younger and as they were draftees, many knew more then I did on many subjects. I could draw beautifully but didn't have a clue how to teach others. The school sent me to "Charm School". My section NCO was a quiet E-7 that had been in combat in Korea. He worn a CIB that was, in my young military mind was a badge of honor. Sixty years later I still feel the same. I wanted to earn one until I went to Vietnam, saw what it took. I wasn't up to it. SFC Willy was my hero and I listened to his every word. Technically I was maybe a few notches above him but with people-skills and life-skills he was my idol. Bowling, the Drill Team and D/Topo kept me on Belvoir as others were shipping out. The school's master sergeant (E-7 was as high as enlisted ranks went at that time), MSG (E-7) Joe Stevens saw to it I was taken off orders again and again until a "good" assignment came my way.
Hello Paris France and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Headquarters.
Four years and an reenlistment later I was back in Belvoir. Construction drafting was on it's way out but the Carto folks (811) needed an instructor. I was sent to Charm School once again. Charm school was were I learned to spew BS and keep a straight face. My second time through CS one of those in my class used his 30 minutes presentation on the subject of matches. Common every day kitchen matches. While he was talking a light went off in my head and from that day till this I can talk on most any subject and not have a clue what I'm saying " pretty much like out Washington politicians. And also from that day forward I thoroughly enjoyed the platform and my student benefited as well. While I was running the Post Drill Team and my bowling average was improving an assignment to Korea could not be ducked.
Hello Camp Mercer and the 40th Operations NCO. SFC Lou Lash and I became good friends as every week-end he would tear-down each of our four Harris presses and clean them from roller to clutch-springs . He taught me all there was to know about printing presses.
The D/Topo influence and training was within every technical person in the company.
Paris had sharpened my appetite for the Old Country so I requested my next assignment to FRG. Hello 227th Detachment in USAREUR Hqs in downtown Heidelberg. I was the USAREUR Hqs. Operations NCO for mapping, Charting and Geology. Mapping, all mapping went across my desk on it's way to the 656th, later renamed 649th Topo battalion. I was in heaven. There I met Harold Mazza. From Heaven to Vietnam and the 66th. Surveyors WO Don (can not remember his last name)in Korea and WO Russ in Nam were close friends that taught me their craft of surveying. I had great teachers. After retirement Russ was my next door neighbor in Virginia until his untimely death.
Back to Germany, ISG of HHC 649th then back to the 227th -- My sincere and humble appreciation to my boss, my mentor and friend, COL Philip Hogg " Total time away form D/Topo was now eleven years but all of it spent with Topo folks in Topo units. If you know Harold Mazza you know I had an excellent teacher in Carto and human nature. I had aerial photography flown of the Hohenfels Training area that the Battalion made into a training map. Harold and his section did the carto work and I approved it. It wasn't until the five color map was on the presses that I noticed the road network formed a huge FTA in the middle of the map. It was 1975 and reassigned back to now DMS for the last two years of my 20 years, all of it spent either at DMS or in a Topo unit or a graphic department. It was still heaven, except for the medically retirement where I was deemed "permanently unfit for further military service"
I tried being an architect again but gave that up after a year. Hello ETL then USAES. Heaven again for another 24 years. Along this 24 year span I learned lots of SQL and HTML coding.
When Jack Batt gave me the opportunity of this DMS web site I was in heaven again.
Ooh, did I tell you each time I went back to Belvoir I was sent through Charm School?
DMS and it's people have been an integral part of my life since 1957. DMS has made me the person I am today and depending on who is asked, that is not all bad.
My many and sincere Thanks to: Cols; Wintz, Stockhausen and Maune; MSgt Vic Gonzales; Bill Locke, Bill Sutton, Jim Harnden and so many others I simply can not remember all their names. Thank you!!
Those that helped me alone the way each has a story - the one I will share now is the person that showed me Heart " Jim Harnden. During the '50s and 1960s Enlisted promotions use to be "something that happened to 'others'. There were quotas and "blood Stripes". Officers were in the same boat. My CO in France was a Captain with Korean war experience had 12 years in-grade . When I rotated back to DMS in 1962 I was an E-4 with two Army Commendations metals (a rarity) and almost five years "In-grade". Promotions Boards were coming into their own and I went in front of an E-5 board that had CW2 Harnden as a voting member. At that time he didn't personally know me but he saw my record. I was promoted.
Your turn!!! If you send us your story I promise to tell you and the world how I got rid of six (6) million obsolete classified maps - It wasn't pretty; the engineers hate me now; the 40th stood down shortly afterward; I lost most of my hearing; 1SG Bolton and Lou Lash (RIP) are still laughting their asses off -- I never liked Korea anyway!
I went grocery shopping recently while not being altogether sure that course of action was a wise one.
You see, the previous evening I had prepared and consumed a massive quantity of my patented 'You're definitely going to $h!t yourself' chili. Tasty stuff, albeit hot to the point of being painful, which comes with a written guarantee from me that if you eat the next day both of your a$$ cheeks WILL fall off.
Here's the thing. I had awakened that morning, and even after two cups of coffee (and all of you know what I mean) nothing happened. No 'Watson's Movement 2'. Despite habanera peppers swimming their way through my intestinal tract, I appeared to be unable to create the usual morning symphony referred to by my next door neighbors as thunder and lightning. Knowing that a time of reckoning had to come, yet not sure of just when, I bravely set off for the market; a local Wal-Mart grocery store that I often haunt in search of tasty tidbits. Upon entering the store at first all seemed normal. I selected a cart and began pushing it about dropping items in for purchase. It wasn't until I was at the opposite end of the store from the restrooms that the pain hit me. Oh, don't look at me like you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm referring to that 'Uh oh, gotta go' pain that always seems to hit us at the wrong time. The thing is this pain was different. The habaneras in the chili from the night before were staging a revolt. In a mad rush for freedom they bullied their way through the small intestines, forcing their way into the large intestines, and before I could take one step in the direction of the restrooms which would bring sweet relief, it happened. The peppers fired a warning shot.
There I stood, alone in the spice and baking aisle, suddenly enveloped in a noxious cloud the likes of which has never before been recorded. I was afraid to move for fear that more of this vile odor might escape me. Slowly, oh so slowly, the pressure seemed to leave the lower part of my body and I began to move up the aisle and out of it, just as an elderly woman turned into it.
I don't know what made me do it, but I stopped to see what her reaction would be to the malodorous effluvium that refused to dissipate, as she walked into it unsuspecting. Have you ever been torn in two different directions emotionally? Here's what I mean, and I'm sure some of you at least will be able to relate.
I could've warned that poor woman but didn't. I simply watched as she walked into an invisible, and apparently indestructible, wall of odor so terrible that all she could do before gathering her senses and running, was to stand there blinking and waving her arms about her head as though trying to ward off angry bees. This, of course, made me feel terrible, but then made me laugh. Mistake.
Here's the thing. When you laugh, it's hard to keep things 'clamped down', if you know what I mean. With each new guffaw an explosive issue burst forth from my nether region. Some were so loud and echoing that I was later told a few folks in other aisles had ducked, fearing that someone was robbing the store and firing off a shotgun.
Suddenly things were no longer funny. IT was coming, and I raced off through the store towards the restrooms, laying down a cloud the whole way, praying that I'd make it before the grand-mal ass-plosion took place.
Luck was on my side. Just in the nick of time I got to the john, began the inevitable 'Oh my God', floating above the toilet seat because my ass is burning SO BAD, purging. One poor fellow walked in while I was in the middle of what is the true meaning of 'Shock and Awe'. He made a gagging sound, and disgustedly said, 'Sonofabitch!', then quickly left.
Once finished I left the restroom, reacquired my partially filled cart intending to carry on with my shopping when a store employee approached me and said, 'Sir, you might want to step outside for a few minutes. It appears some prankster set off a stink bomb in the store. The manager is going to run the vent fans on high for a minute or two which ought to take care of the problem.'
That of course set me off again, causing residual gases to escape me. The employee took one sniff, jumped back pulling his shirt up to cover his nose and, pointing at me in an accusing manner shouted, 'IT'S YOU!', then ran off returning moments later with the manager. I was unceremoniously escorted from the premises and asked none too kindly not to return.
Home again without having shopped, I realized that there was nothing to eat but leftover chili, so I consumed two more bowls. The next day I went to shop at Albertson's. I can't say anymore about that because we are in court over the whole matter. Bastards claim they're going to have to repaint the store.
This is NOT a DMS story but an American Soldiers (GI) Story
I am far from being the perfect human and as a result this web site honoring and depicting DMS and it's people is also flawed and has more then once gone off on tangents our best survivor would be hard pressed to justify. Who else would use 57 words to say , 'I hope you enjoy this clip' - Hess