#PTSDDaddy Memories of Mike and ROTC… Part II
Mike and ROTC… Part II, so after lunch we had to wait a bit for Mike to do whatever he had to do and then he came walking out with his big green bag of stuff. Man, I remember thinking, Mike is in SHAPE! My brother Mike is my big brother, and always has been my “big” brother. This was the first time I remember seeing Mike without a gut. He looked awesome! Later, Mike would challenge Chris and I to a push-up challenge where Mike would go halfway down in the push-up position and hold it. Holy cow, he could stay there forever. I had no idea he could do that. Chris and I tried, with no success. Mike would laugh at us and we’d still take him up on the challenge but Chris and I stood no chance. Mike was a lean, mean, fighting machine. There are no equivalents in the civilian world. Never is, never will be.
After Mike got out we all went to get a cheap hotel room. This was my first time in a hotel! I was quite excited about it but this was different then I expected. Dad picked one of them hotels that all the rooms were accessible from the outside. Dad wanted to be able to have the car parked right where he could see it. I didn’t understand why but that’s what we did. We went into the room to set everything down and… wow… this room smelled weird! Literally you turn on the lights and see bugs here and there. This room later in life became a joke about how the room really was. I did not really care though, this was the most exciting trip I had ever been on.
When the room was settled dad wanted to take us all to the General George S. Patton Museum. We had watched the movie “Patton” with my father many times. Again, this was a movie I did not really understand. It seemed boring, there was an army guy standing on a stage and he talked and talked and talked for what seemed like a lifetime. Just when I thought the movie was over, there was a second VHS tape to put in. How long did this war last? I thought as we would continue watching the movie. You see dad felt it was important for us to see history. My father was a “history buff” so to say, he would read every war book he could get his hands on. Dad’s favorite wars though was, as my grandpa would say “double u double u…… two” as he would hold up two fingers for World War II, and my father would also watch the Viet Nam movies. I had yet to realize that my father was actualy a Marine during the Viet Nam Era. When we walked into this museum it was AMAZING. All of these things in this place were just like the movie! Wow! I even got to see General Patton’s uniform that was displayed on a dummy behind ropes and glass. I got to see his famous ivory handled pistols! I got to see his weird pants with “sticky outty” things in the hips. My father would explain to me that was a thing for cavalry back in the day of horses. I got to see REAL tanks! They were so much smaller in person than I thought. Well some of them were, there were a couple huge ones too but these seemed so much bigger in the movie.
After the museum we went to a store that sold Army supplies. Oh my God!!! I found my favorite store in the whole world! They had the COOLEST things. It was at this store I saw the first beret I ever saw in real life. It was a black beret and I remember seeing one of the characters from G.I. Joe in one, oh and Rambo. My father explained to me that Rambo’s was green but I swore up and down it was the same color. This really did not matter, I wanted a beret. Later in life I would make fun of them as I thought I would end up in the Marine Corps. More to come on that story later, the point is for now I wanted a black beret! They had other colors but I was not interested in those ones. The black one was perfect! OH and they had REAL dog tags. You could have them make you your own dog tags! I wanted my own set of dog tags! Then I would be so much closer to being just like my newfound heroes! It was fun for dad too I know since my brother Chris and I seemed to want one of everything they had. We got a magazine from the store so we could order the things we wanted later. Dad promised us if we saved up the money he would put the orders in. Chris and I never did end up saving that money. Toys and candy always seemed to be quicker and faster. But this was the perfect trip all around. The next day we drove home, and Mike sang “Kansas City, Kansas City here I come!” the entire way!
Mike and ROTC… Part II if you missed it you can check out Part I