I finished mortuary school in February of 1967 and returned to Bunkie to work for Tom Davis. Very shortly after starting work, I received my greetings to report for military service on April 10, 1967. Tom got busy and had the reporting date delayed until July 5th. On July 4th our house burned and I was given another delay until August 2.
Well, on August 2 I left Marksville on a bus bound for New Orleans for my pre-induction physical. EES classmate John Daigrepont was on the same bus along with fellow BHS student Walter Wardell. We were about equally grim.
On August 3 it was determined that we were physically fit and John and I boarded a bus for Fort Polk, LA. (They had other plans for Walter. He was inducted into the Marines as I recall). We had a stop at the bus station in Baton Rouge and who was there but former EES student Ken Riche. He was working at the bus station while attending LSU.
Seems that it was after midnight when we reached Fort Polk and the yelling started. I spent about ten days at the reception station testing for different career fields. At the end of things, I decided to extend my enlistment for another year in order to attend Grave Registration (GR) School. Shortly thereafter, I was sent to a basic training company. About half way through basic training the trouble started. I had a hernia that required immediate surgery. A second and then third hernia repair followed. It seemed that they were going to have to create a special military occupation specialty just for me, hernia specialist! I never completed basic (other than on paper) and was put to work in the supply room.
In April, 1968 I was sent to Fort Lee, VA for GR School. I was early for my class and worked as a clerk in the company orderly room. I was promoted to Private First Class while there. Along the way I came home and got married. We went back to Fort Lee to start married life and GR School. We finished school in early August 1968, was promoted to Specialist Fourth Class and came home on a 30 day leave prior to going to Vietnam.
I transited via Oakland, CA for Vietnam. I worked my way to Pleiku, RVN and spent the next year in a Graves Registration platoon adjacent to the Air Force base. I was in charge of the collection and evacuation squad and promoted to Corporal. I managed to see most of the Central Highlands and get promoted to sergeant (E-5) while there. On one of my trips to the Saigon mortuary I met former mortuary school classmate Harold Jones. He was in some administrative position there. He asked where I wanted to go when I returned to the states. I told him I would like to be assigned to the 6th Army Escort Detachment at Oakland, CA. He gave me the address of someone to write with my request. I did and they did; I received orders to the escort detachment and was assigned there upon completion of my tour.
We reported to Oakland in early October, 1969. I was assigned as an escort, but worked my way to one of the operations sergeants for the detachment. It was good duty.
I was discharged on May 27, 1970 and came home to attend Louisiana Tech.
All around I wouldn't take a million bucks for my experience in the military. Until lately, I said I wouldn't give a wooden nickel to go back - but now, yea I would!Source: Glynn Kohler, May 28, 2009