Best attempted by those Who Served in Korea After Vietnam and Before Desert Storm
by DAVID OSTERHOUT
I joined the Army in 1976 the nation’s bicentennial. It was a transitional period for the military, we were still wearing the green pickle suits, the draw down from Vietnam had leveled out, the all-volunteer army was in the experimental stage, the Cold War was raging and we drove real jeeps.
My “career” only lasted five years due to a mis-step while on patrol inside the DMZ in Korea. By 1981 I was out of the army looking for something else to do. I went on and had a reasonably successful and happy life but I have always carried a few regrets.
- Between 1974 and 1991 there was this period of peace where a soldier could serve an enlistment without earning a National Defense Service Medal. My “career” fell right in the middle of that time frame. No medal for me.
- Obviously I regret never being able to finish my career. For anyone who joins the military, my advice is “have a plan B”.
- While on my only weekend pass during OCS, we were given the choice of going to Busch Gardens and chasing bikini clad girls or going to Washington DC to see the monuments. I have yet to see the monuments.
Those are not all of my regrets but, what I did do and I will never regret is volunteer for Korea, get stationed with the most forward deployed infantry battalion and walk in the valley of the shadow for my country.
To separate the soldiers who have been to Korea, really been there, from those who have only heard of kimchee, there is a test below. Please take the test with tongue in cheek, a grain of salt and an open mind.
Now that you have finished taking the test, I know what most of you are thinking. This test was supposed to have a dozen questions in it. There were no instructions but you should have gone back and answered question #1 again. How were you supposed to know that? My point exactly. This is a test about Korea. The answer to #1 was what?….The Land of the Not Quite Right.
David Osterhout is an ex-Army intelligence officer who served on the Korean DMZ in 1980. He was injured and spent 8 months in Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. During his recovery, he wrote a book about his experience . The book is titled OinK! Only in Korea!.The book is based on true events and covers everything on the previous test. If you would like to read more about the author and see some pictures and rare news clippings from that era, go to the author’s website: www.davidosterhouttx.com. Paperback and Kindle editions of OinK! are available at Amazon.