Fort Jackson Welcomes World War II Veterans
(July 18, 2009)
Capt. Rodney Jackson, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment commander, answers questions from World War II veterans during an honor flight tour stop at the confidence course on Fort Jackson, S.C., July 2, 2009. Courtesy photo
||(July 10, 2009) -- A group
of World War II veterans got a taste of modern
Basic Combat Training and shared memories of
their own experiences during a July 2 tour of
Fort Jackson with Honor Flight South Carolina.
The group, ranging in age from 81 to 93, served
in all different branches during the war.
The veterans, who included ex-prisoners of war
and retired Col. Charles Murray, Medal of Honor
recipient, were welcomed enthusiastically by the
Fort Jackson community.
"People have been great," said Wallace Starnes
of Columbia. "Everything has been so impressive,
especially the graduation."
A number of the veterans passed through
Fort Jackson on the way to war.
"Even if they didn't train here, many were at least inducted
into the military at Fort Jackson," said Bill Dukes of honor
The veterans commented on a few of the changes in the years
since they were in the military. One of the biggest
differences noted by the group was gender-integrated
training, a new concept for many of the veterans.
They also took notice of the change in accommodations.
"We had wooden barracks -- if we were lucky," noted Lawrence
Stroman of Batesburg. "A lot of guys slept in tents."
"Without air-conditioning," piped up another voice from the
Another big change?
"KP duty," said Frank Bouknight Sr. referring what was
called kitchen police or patrol.
Stroman quickly agreed. "Everyone had to do KP duty," he
As the group departed Fort Jackson at the conclusion of the
tour, one veteran stopped to express his thanks to the
escort. "I had a great time," he said, "Thank you so much."
Then he turned to his battle buddy next to him and continued
the story he had begun on the bus.
"I remember when ...."
Article by Kara Motosicky
Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office
Reprinted from the Army News Front Page
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