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A Veteran's Experiance In The War.

2412 words - 10 pages

On December 7, 1941 an ordinary boy, Arthur Pranger, from Covington, Kentucky was listening to his console radio when the news of Pearl Harbor aired. Arthur, or Art for short, knew what the outcome of the devastating event could lead too, and that was only a matter of time before he received a letter requesting him to serve his country. His life, which included rides around town in his friend Bob Bailer's car and a drive through Devou Park, where teens could dance to the jukebox, changed forever on August 19, 1943, when he received the expected letter from the Armed Forces Induction Station telling him that he was now a soldier in the army of the United States. The letter requested that he leave everything but a minimum of civilian clothing and a, "Small traveling bag containing one suit of underwear, one extra pair of socks and necessary toilet articles including a face and body towel" (Pranger, Duty Calls 1). Before assembling at the local board on the assigned date of September 9, 1943, however, Arthur Pranger, number 35874300, needed complete necessary business such as claiming family allotment, securing life insurance, and filling out routine government paperwork. Upon their completion, Art said goodbye to his family and left for Ft. Thomas, Kentucky.From Kentucky, Private Arthur Pranger took a train to Texas and arrived at Camp Swift on September 15, 1943, where the army scheduled him to go through basic training. Once there he was assigned to the Chemical Warfare Service and a couple days latter more specifically Company A, 86th Chemical Battalion (Motorized). On the very same day that Art arrived at camp and got off the train, he received his equipment and began instruction by seeing some pictures on germ warfare. Private Art's first full day at Camp Swift he got right into serious training. "We marched with rifles and learned how to operate mortar. We also learned how to run for cover from airplanes and shoot at them. We also had plane silhouettes to tell different planes apart from other ones. We also had map reading with instruments" (Pranger, September 20, 1943 1). On an average training day, the Private Art got up at six-thirty to the sound of reveille and went to bed at ten o'clock and he had very little time in between at first. As a soldier, Private Art received fifty dollars a month total, and out of that came life insurance, laundry, and bond, the rest was Art's, which he mostly to his mother. Through his training, he learned the characteristics of different gases, about using smoke and phosphorous bombs, and how to drive a jeep. On the gunner's exam, Private Art turned out to be quite a marksman, scoring 97 out of a possible 100 he was qualified as a first class gunner.To get into shape become used to walking, Private Art had to take long hikes with a backpack through rough terrain under all sorts of circumstances. "We went out on a 15 mile hike with a light pack but it still seems like a heavy pack to me. We marched on a road...

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