Category Archives: Infantry OCS

Buh bye Russ Wheat

On this day in 1938, my good friend Russ was born. He transitioned in 2019, played a few jokes on me and then disappeared into the light. Unforgettable.

UPDATE: Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again!

Drag queens and strip shows

Langley AFB, where my family lived during my paterfamilias’s last year in the AF, is hosting a drag queen.

“The festival, according to the Daily Wire, will feature “a series of performances and speeches, including a poem on ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ and a drag show by Joshua Kelley, who performs under the moniker Harpy Daniels.” He is a Yeoman 3rd class in the Navy.

I remember a carnival with a strip show that came to Fort Benning in 1968. Our OCS class was ordered to staff the carnival. I was a ticket-taker at the strip show. At least we got real women, even if they were rather skinny. Underfed, probably.

John Harrison Turnipseed, Jr.

Turnipseed was one of our OCS class who was booted out in the final days before graduation. I knew that he went on to Viet Nam as an E-6, his former rank, and was awarded three Purple Hearts. Now I’ve learned that he was an assistant to then-Major Colin Powell, the deputy G-3 of the Americal Division, in 1968 and ’69, wielding the pointer on the maps while Powell briefed ranking officers.

But he also drove Powell when the future four-star and secretary of state, was at division HQ in Chu Lai and probably had a more extensive relationship that included helping out when Powell went into the field to check on operations. Powell received the Soldiers Medal for non-combat valor when he pulled three men, including the division commander, out of a burning helicopter. No proof yet but could John have been there? What assistant would not be with the boss at such a time and others? That may have been how he received three Purple Hearts.

UPDATE: Now know he didn’t enter the army until Feb, 1967, so he couldn’t have been an E-6 about 10 months later when he entered OCS. Reading Powell’s otherwise interesting autobio, I sadly find no mention of John, and he apparently wasn’t in on the helicopter rescue which Powell details. Which was little more than an excursion gone bad so maybe there was no reason for John to be there.

Consequences of service

OCS classmate Tucker Smallwood: “This is a link to a short film, which addresses PTSD and veteran suicide.  Two concerns very dear to my heart. 
“The intent of this film (Proof of Concept) is to generate sufficient funding to produce a full length feature film.
“The treatment program described within it (ALL THE WAY HOME) I conceived in 2009.  I am still trying to generate a pilot that could encourage similar satellite efforts across America.”

Multi-Use Nozzle Jet Injector

Used on us veterans in the 1960s for vaccinations. As an Infantry OCS classmate writes:

“A slight tremor by the operator opened up an impressively deep divot on your arm. No longer recommended for use, as the body fluids  from your arm apparently rebounded onto the nozzle, inoculating the next man in line with the intended vaccine plus whatever was going on in you (how many classmates’ DNA are we carrying around as I write this?  Talk about blood Brothers! Yo! Bro!). “


Our Vietnam dead

Remembering our “lost” on this Vietnam Veterans Day. Curious that we have a day to ourselves.

KIA were Infantry OCS graduate Jacob Lee Kinser, tactical officers Reese Michael Patrick & Daniel Lynn Neiswender. And four dropouts: Sherry Joe Hadley, Reese Currenti Elia, Robert Kendrick Chase, and Jeffrey Sanders Tigner.

Not really lost, just “home” in the Greater Reality before us. Blessings on you all.

Recommending Reiki

An OCS chum’s wife suffers from chronic back pain. I suggested a Reiki session: “A stop-gap method to ease back pain, if not to heal it completely, is a Reiki session of about 30-45 minutes for your wife. You can Google Reiki, to find a practitioner near you. The cost varies but generally is under a hundred dollars. I have been treating Bar’s chronic back pain that way for the past year with some success. Give it a try, why doncha!”

UPDATE: They want it. I’m starting a free, long-distance session once a week. We’ll see how it goes. Bar also is talking about sessions, but she wants to get a collapsible table for it.

MORE: They changed their minds. Religious reasons, I suspect. Religion is the bane of existence for many.