Military years a special time in my life

By Staff
Bob Stickley
As a young lad out of high school I enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1950 and could not dream of all the places I would wind up or what was in store for me.
I was sent to the Dust Bowl as it's called, Fort Riley, Kan., for basic training.
After basic training my good friend, Casmere Rosanski, and I were sent to San Antonio, Texas, to Brooks Army Medical School where we studied medical technician first and then into surgical tech school.
Casmere, who was my best friend, was from Detroit, Mich.
In between the two schools, Christmas came and we were given a leave to go home for 14 days. Cas and I were always together so it was only fitting that we would go home together.
We decided to hitch a ride with our Mess Sgt. as far as Kansas City. From there we were going to hitch hike to Michigan.
But little did we know we were to run into one of the worst snowstorms of the season. We didn't even have our over coats.
When we left San Antonio it was about 70 degrees at 5:30 p.m. After having little success hitch hiking, we decided to call home and ask for some money to be wired to us so we could get a Greyhound bus home and back to Texas.
By the time we arrived back in San Antonio, the Korean War had broke out. When we graduated, the saddest part was that they split our class in half. I went to Germany for six years and Cas was sent to the Far East.
I wrote letter after letter to my dear buddy, but never got an answer. After about three months, I got a letter from his mom who told me that Casmere was killed the second day of battle in Korea.
When I arrived in Germany I was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment of the Big Bloody Red One Division. I was assigned to a military police platoon. We assisted German police in Bamberg, a city of about 80,000 people. After about a year, our military police job continued, but we were also trained as a fancy drill team with chrome helmets and all the fancy garb.
We performed all over Bavaria, spinning our white rifles and marching in many parades. As I climbed the ladder as far as rank, I was sent to a non-commissioned officer academy and then on to advanced non-commissioned academy where I met a crazy guy named Jack Huckaba from here in Russellville. I think Jack grew up in the Belgreen area.
We became friends but Jack was assigned to Company C of the 26th Infantry Regiment so I didn't see him that much.
I remember that if you had more than 600 demerits you couldn't graduate. Jack had a bunch.
He wanted to quit but my buddies and I talked him into working off his demerits. You had to do so many push-ups and sit-ups and you could bring your demerit count down.
Jack worked hard for two solid days, but he made it.
I have fond memories of Jack. He stuck with it and went on to retire from the Army.
He passed away a few years ago, but those memories will always be with me.

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