It was September of 1974. I had just completed my first year of college at BSU, made it through the summer, but I wasn’t ready to go back to school. It wasn’t in my heart to finish right then. Instead I had a burning desire to travel.
I grew up in Idaho and had never gone out of the state. We didn’t take family vacations, or visit anyone in distant exciting places. We did go camping, on picnics, and of course to the drive-in movies. But something in my heart yearned to see the world beyond the borders of Idaho.
Being the logical person that I was, well okay, at least once in a while I was logical, I thought about how I would travel. I wanted to go to Europe. But I’d need a job once I got there. And I’d need a way to get there. As I walked down the streets of downtown Boise, I saw posters everywhere to ‘Join the Army’ and ‘be all you can be’. Me? I didn’t know at that time what I could be.
I went in to the recruiting office and talked to the recruiters for the Navy, Air Force and the Army. The Army had the best offer for me at the time. They had a guarantee of station. And I chose Europe. Thirty days later I was on my very first plane ride to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for Basic Training.
From the airport they picked us up on a bus. I was alone, young, single, and heading for Europe. I was so excited. But a funny thing happened on the way to the base. I was looking out the window and saw a huge billboard that said, “Welcome to South Carolina, Home of the Fighting Cocks.”
That’s right. I was in total shock. A young girl that had never traveled out of Idaho just entered the home of the fighting cocks! I wasn’t in Kansas anymore! I just realized that I didn’t have a clue what I had gotten myself into. But I was about to find out!
Meet me here next week for what happened next! I look forward to sharing my big adventure with you.