Military Service

1955-57.    Our son Clark was born in July 1955.  I never told my draft board that I was a dad.  Had I done so, I would not have been drafted.  However, I felt some shame that I had had six years of academic deferments; I had so many friends with military experience; and I knew several who had given their lives.  Bessie shared my feelings, so we took our chances.  No one would do that today, I think.  I wrote a story about my experiences in achieving the rank of Private First Class. No Substitute for Ed.   I was trained to kill and type at Ford Ord, California; during my typist training, Bessie and Clark lived in nearby Monterey so I could spend Saturday nights at home with them.  I then was assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground MD for 18 months. 

Among the benefits received through military service were that we acquired our daughter Mary and had plenty of time with the children. For about nine of those months, I was an Officer Efficiency Report Clerk, a role that provided me with considerable experience in office politics.  Then for nine months I was in the JAG office as a legal aid lawyer.  Clients I Remember.   

I got out of active duty in the Army two months early to assume my duties as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Law School.  Less consequential was my military duty as a reservist.  For eight months, I served as the evening report clerk (roll taker) for a unit that met once a week in a private club in Lexington MA, and for two weeks in the summer of 1959 I was a typist for an Army Reserve office in Omaha NE.  On November 7, 1961, I was honorably discharged.

 mailto:pdc@law.duke.edu index.htm

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