A little about myself, my name is Charles, I grew up like most boys did in a little town in the 60's and 70's. In the summers I would play outside all day, only coming home to eat and sleep. I was in Cub Scouts then Boy Scouts, went fishing and hunting. When I turn fifteen like most boys I started to work so I could get my first car. The only real work around us was the farms that were all around the town. Like most kids in town I couldn't wait to move away and make it big but also like most kids in town it didn't happen the way we had planned.
I joined the Army a week after I got out of high school because my dad's plans for me was to start working in the plant that he had worked in his whole life like his dad. My mom didn't like it but after talking to my dad he was ok with it and said he would make my mom understand. So I left a week after the Fourth of July, which was Monday July 9, 1979.
I didn't become a Ranger or Special Forces. I was a MP (military police). I figured that was something I could use once I got out. I went to basic and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) at Fort McClellan, Alabama and from there to my first duty assignment, Camp Casey, Korea. That year could be a story of its self.
After that I was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana and that is where I met Amy. I had only been in the company about three hours when I first saw her. Don't get me wrong, I have seen a lot of good looking females both in and out of the Army but to me none more than Amy. She was nice and always saying hi to everyone with a smile. It didn't take long to see that most of the Sergeants (Sgt) and some officers were chasing after her along with every other guy in the company.
After about two months the company had a PT test. I didn't drink and as anyone who has ever been to Camp Casey will tell you there is not much else to do there but drink or go to the gym. The same went for Fort Polk, so I was in really good shape. I wasn't one of those guys that you see trying to get freakishly larger but I was built. When we had our weigh in I would have to be taped to show the army I wasn't over weight.
So after acing the PT test my Platoon Sgt asked if I would help out with remedial PT for the ones that failed. So I told him I would (not like you have much choice in the army).
The next morning after getting off working midnights they broke up the platoon into those needing remedial PT and those not, I was surprised to see Amy there. I had seen her in the gym about twice a week working out so I thought that she must be there to help out.
The squad leader that was in charge was a real asshole and should have been in the class not leading it. I found out later that he had caught the Platoon Sgt and Platoon Leader together. Not that I could blame the Platoon Sgt, our Lt was good looking but as everyone knows that's a big no-no in the military.
It didn't take long to realize that the Sgt was more into belittling then helping. When I said something to him, he locked my heels (made me stand at attention) while he informed me he was in charge and my supervisor. Lucky for me the new company First Sgt saw what was happening and took the Sgt to his office and left me in charge. After that I didn't have it easy till it was found out about the Platoon Sgt and the Lt and that the Sgt was blackmailing them.
Three days a week I would have them do regular military PT but on Tuesday's and Wednesday's we would go to the gym. I wasn't having them lift heavy weights, just the opposite. I would have them do low weights with more reps, you see it is endurance that is needed in the military. Three weeks later they retook their PT test and all but one passed. I didn't feel sorry when they put him out of the military a few months later because I knew he was trying to get out anyway.
After Amy passed her PT test, if I was in the gym when she came in she would come over and we would work out together and that was about three times a week. While we were working out we talked a lot about the military, where we were stationed and home.
I found out that she was from a real small town in Wyoming, had no brothers or sisters like me but she had a lot of cousin. She once said that one of the reason she joined the army was so she didn't end up like all of her cousins. Pregnant and married to someone that would run off as soon as they got a chance to get out of the area.
About a month later the company was having a party and I was sitting with some people when someone sat down next to me. It was a girl that has been hitting on me since I got to the company. (I'll call her Penny because I don't really remember her name) Now she wasn't bad looking but everyone refereed to her as the company's welcoming party.
Any new guy that came in to the company she would go out with for about a week or two or till the next new guy showed up. If that is the way she wanted to be, good for her but that was not what I was looking for. I was trying to get with Amy.
I got up and was just walking around for a bit and every once in a while looking for Amy. I guess I was doing this a little too much for Penny. As I was standing by a tree she came over and just flatly said that I had no chance with Amy because all of the girls knew that she was a lesbian.
Back then it was even more taboo then it is now to be labeled a lesbian in the military. Just a rumor of someone being gay or a lesbian seemed enough to get them kicked out.
It took all of a second to tell her, then that's going to be one lucky girl that catches her and walked away back to my barracks. Everyone was getting drunk and I didn't like hanging around most of them when they were. A few were fun to hang around with when they were drinking and I would even go out with them. They liked that a lot as I was the safe way home.
After I got back to my barracks I decided to go to the gym then maybe catch a movie. I was in the gym just stretching out when Amy came in. She didn't say anything but just came over and started to stretch out with me. It was strange because she wasn't talking but did answer when I asked if she needed me to spot for her when I saw her put more weights on than I had ever seen her try.
After working out for about an hour and a half we called it quiets and as we were walking back she finely spoke. She asked me what I was doing tonight. I told her I was thinking of going to see a movie. She said that sounded good and then she asked me if I would mind if she tagged along. I think my heart skipped a few beats.
I guess I was taking too long to answer because I could see she was about to say something when my mouth and brain started working again. I told her I would like that and asked her where she wanted to meet up at. She laughed and said why I don't just pick you up in front of your barracks in an hour. I said ok and then it hit me, she was asking me out. I was just about to say something then she said she would see me in an hour and then added as she was walking away that I better not keep her waiting.
She was giggling as she walked away and that was the start of our life together. I did ask her sometime later about that day and she told me that she was just walking behind us when Penny came up to me and we both said what we did. That was when she realized that I liked her for her and not just what she looked like.
We dated for almost eight months before I asked her to marry me. We were both within a few months of getting out so we waited till we were out to get married. We got married in her home town on July 15, 1982. My parents came and since I had no other family Amy's family made a big deal of them being there.
We stayed in the area and we both got jobs with the county sheriff. It was hard at first because we worked different shifts for the first year but when I made Sgt, Amy quit. Not because I made so much more money as a Sgt, it was because she was pregnant. That was something she wanted after seeing how happy her cousins were with their kids.
Our daughter Emily was born the 1st of March 1984. I didn't mind getting up with her during the night because I missed her because I was at work all day. Life was just great, I was there for her first steps and I went overboard on her first Christmas.
That winter was a bad one, lots of heavy snow and the flu hit the area hard. On January 28th almost haft of the second shift had called in sick again so I had to work my third double in a row. What made it worse, it was my mother in-laws birthday and to top it off it started to snow again. That meant we would be helping the State Police with accidents on the highways.
I called home to tell Amy and she said everyone would understand. I let her know the roads were already getting bad so to be careful. She reminded me again that she grew up learning how to drive in this kind of weather but if it got too bad she would just stay at her parents.
I was right, it was a busy night on the highways. I will never understand why people with four wheel drives think that they can still drive 55 in the snow. Four wheel drive is great for pulling you through mud, up hills and getting you unstuck from snow, but if two wheels are going to slide on snow and ice so do four wheels.
I got home around 1:00 in the morning and I was looking forward to getting some sleep since I had the next three days off. Amy's car was not in the garage but this did not bother me because I was sure her mom made her stay like she had before. Her mother loved having her granddaughter there.
I woke up and it was after 10:00, I listened but I didn't hear Amy or Emily. As I got up I could see why, there was another foot of snow on the ground on top of what was there when I went to bed and it was still snowing.
.... There is more of this story ...