Reaching An Loc

By Alfredo G. Herrera



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I was born in a small railroad section home in Beatty, Oregon on March 24, 1933. I was the fifth child of 14 children born to my parents, Jose E. and Maria J. Herrera. We lived in Beatty until 1940 at which time we moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon. I graduated from Klamath Union High School in 1951. By then I was married and my wife and I began having children. We had three children when I was drafted into the US Army on June 15, 1955. I was inducted and sworn in at Portland, Oregon and sent to Ft Ord, California for basic training.

In basic training, our Drill Sergeant was, what I thought, a large black Staff Sgt E5. I remember him because he had a long scar on his left cheek. We were very scared of him and thought he was the biggest guy we had ever seen. In 1970, I returned to Ft Ord as a First Sergeant, E8. Because it was between school terms, my family didn’t accompany me. I moved into the single enlisted quarters and was ironing my clothes, when a Staff Sgt E6 entered the laundry room. I noticed he was the same Drill Sergeant I had encountered in basic training.     


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