There I was picking up some students from Middle School, with my wonderful monitor Roxanne Rardin. The students came out of a classroom that was a very important part of my life, the old typing class room.
I reflected on the good ole typing class days, with the teacher Mr. Cecil Graves. I had a good Royal typewriter that was so cool. You pushed the Royal logo and the key cover would pop up like the hood of a car. I loved the preflight inspection of the Royal machine. I had no idea how that typing class would impact my life years later.
One very damp morning while checking out my OH-13 T helicopter at Hunter Army Air Field Georgia, I fell and had to stay in the post hospital for a week or two then was issued crutches for a few weeks. Well, to make a long story short, my first sergeant discovered that I could type and they needed a typist badly.
He approached me and said, "Specialist White, I know how much you hate guard duty and KP." How would you like to be exempt from duty by becoming our Chief Orderly Room Clerk, just until you can return to your normal duties as 67M20, helicopter repairman."
Well, that didn't seem to be such a bad deal so I said sure. Well, little did I know that that little detour from my regular duties would change my short Army career. While in the hospital, I got red lined for being shipped to Vietnam. Then after receiving my orders to Korea in 1969 while reporting to headquarters, they changed my orders from 55. Maint. company to being assigned to HQ (EUSA) Special Troops. That is where I met one of the finest Sergeant Majors that the Army had. He was in my eyes second to none! He was my boss and I will never forget Sergeant Major James E. Legg. Later he assigned me a new supervisor by the name of Capt. William E. Lingle. That Capt Lingle was one of the finest officers that every had the pleasure to serve with. So that Bandera H.S. typing course really impacted my military career.
Now lets get back to the Middle School while picking up some students, I noticed a gentleman by the name of Gary Fite. Mr. Fite was substituting for a teacher and he noticed me and we had to talk. That is when I told him that was my old typing class room. Then he told me a little military story.
When he was taking basic training at Ft. Polk La, the NCO in charge of a detail asked if there was anybody that knew how to type. Mr. Fite got an uneasy feeling about what might be inside that truck, but raised his hand. His feelings were right, that truck was loaded with over 100 typewriters which Mr. Gary Fite had to unload. Let me tell you, those typewriters are not light and I am sure Mr. Fite was dog tired after that ordeal.