More military memories

By Staff
Bob Stickley
I am picking up this week with my military career.
After graduating as the youngest sergeant first class ever to be promoted in my division during peacetime, I became the commander of a drill team.
The 1st Infantry was sent back al together from Germany and changed places with the 10th Mountain Division. I ended up back in Fort Riley, Kansas, where we continued performing throughout the Midwest. In 1957, we performed at the 100th Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Omaha, Neb. We also served as a firing squad and burial group in several different states.
The biggest highlight of my career was performing at the Armed Forces benefit football game between the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field in Chicago.
What a thrill coming onto the field through the colored smoke and dazzling 80,000 people with our high precision drill. We were also sent to Washington, D.C., to march in a parade and dedication for a monument to all the 1st Infantry World War II veterans.
We got to see the White House and the various agencies that govern our country and paraded for many high-ranking generals.
In 1958, we went to Fort Leonardwood, Mo., to greet the Secretary of the Army.
These are some find memories that I will never forget.
I also took the team to Amsterdam and got to shake hands with Queen Willomena of the Netherlands.
Ever so often we got two weeks off for rest and relaxation and it was all-free. So I got to visit two of the most beautiful places in Europe, in my opinion. There is nothing better than Gramish and Bertichgarden in Germany. The recent Olympic games in Canada reminded me of these places.
I learned to ski at a lodge on Mount Watsman, the second largest mountain in Germany, I am told. The Hinterbrand Lodge was on top of the mountain and after skiing all day, the food was fabulous.
I remember there was a very large fish tank just outside the lodge and you could go out and dip a rainbow trout of your choice for the cook to prepare for you.
Having been to France, Vienna, Amsterdam and many other cities across Europe, I am thankful for my many years of military service.
I think military service can be very rewarding for a young person out of high school. My youngest son, Rob, who graduated from Phil Campbell High School, joined the Air Force and while in service got three free years of college paid for by the government.
He completed his business degree after being discharged.
My middle son, Jerry, joined the Navy when he graduated from Phil Campbell and served on an aircraft carrier during the Persian Gulf War. My oldest son, Jim, was also in the Navy.
You don't suppose Dad had anything to do with this, do you?
My point being, thanks to their military experience, they each landed good jobs.
I am sure that anyone who served in the military would be thankful for the experience of serving the greatest country in the world.