Army, Private First Class
This is a story about several months in the Army. It is neither heroic nor tragic but merely an Army SNAFU that happened to me while on duty in 1944.
My request for a few days’ pass in order to get married and have a short honeymoon was denied by the director of the Army Reconditioning Center. Not only that, he said I had been goofing off long enough and would be sent back immediately to active duty. No marriage, no honeymoon, and even I was sort of happy to get out of there.
Several months prior to this event I was reported to the Army hospital in Davis, California, with a temperature of 106. No doctor was on duty at the time, so I was given a bed overnight with the notation that I had sunstroke and should be sent back to duty in the morning. In and out of the hospital over the next few days—still with a temperature but no medical examination—I was startled to learn that my recent sputum test proved that I had Tuberculosis. Still no medical examination, but I was “provisionally discharged” from the Army and put on the waiting list for the TB Sanitarium in Colorado. When I casually notified my mother of my current status she called the Red Cross and asked them to investigate. After a few days an actual Army doctor examined me and said I did not have TB but had Scarlet Fever and needed at least three months’ rest before being sent back to active duty. Somehow I was re-entered into the Army and send to a rehab center in Auburn, California.
I had a pleasurable, lazy several weeks there and met a very nice girl with whom I got well acquainted. After spending quite a bit of time at her home, her mother said I had to marry her daughter immediately or get lost. That was the moment I got moved out of town and back to active duty by the Rehab director. With two years of Army duty remaining and then four years of college, my relationship with the girl in Auburn just faded away.