On or about October 1st, 1945, I arrived at Camp Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, from Trinidad. However, due to my length of time overseas, my release from active duty was December 7, 1945. During a physical examination at McCoy, they discovered that I was practically deaf in my left ear and that the hearing in my right ear was impaired. They said that I would need surgery on the left ear and I would not be released for 6 months or more. I asked what would be the case if surgery were not successful. The reply was, further treatment would be necessary. I had a wife and child and wanted to immediately go to school to obtain my bachelor degree, and perhaps a masters. Their suggested solution was for me to waive any claim against the government, which I did. But then I signed up for the army air corps reserves, later the air force reserves, and remained in the reserves until April of 1953, when the Korean War was winding down.
In 1998, a fellow veteran heard my story and suggested I visit the county veterans affairs office, that I deserved to receive hearing aids from the government. I already had one for the right, but the left ear was totally deaf. The affairs officer checked with the Indiana department that declared that McCoy had unjustly if not illegally had me waive a claim.
My ears were examined at Indianapolis, and later at Danville, IL. They decided that I qualified to receive a hearing aid and batteries from the government, and upon checking my medical records, said that I should be given a disability allowance of 10% for the ear and 10% for acute tinnitis. The sinuses were examined, but no compensation was given for that. I had started out to get a hearing aid, and without seeking anything further was granted 20% total disability, with one-year retroactivity. My lawyer told me that I had a clear case of gaining retroactivity back to December of 1945. My wife and I agreed not to pursue that route, that we were grateful for what was offered. We decided that a case like that would drag emotionally, and that it would appear to be a greedy pursuit.
For two years after the war, I was a recruiter for the 5th Army Division. Result: No recruits, for two reasons. First, I had just graduated from Indiana University, was buying a house in Minnesota, and trying to get my feet on the ground at work and at home. And, second, selling someone to join the Army back then was more difficult than selling bikinis to the Eskimos at Point Barrow, Alaska.
The air force reserves in the Minnesota did not become truly effective until 1953 at the close of the Korean War, at which time I resigned. Too much responsibility at home with four children, at work, and in the community.
my children and wives, but spare me of that for a while.
Six children. three sons with two with doctorates in law and medicine; the other a bachelor’s degree and manager of an airport in Vancouver, BC. All of the sons served the US Army during the Vietnam days. The youngest served with the 25th infantry--the Wolfhounds--where he was a non-com infantryman, and flew over 100 helicopter missions on search and destroy missions. As a result, he was exposed to Agent Orange.
Three daughters, one a masters in English and journalism, one degrees in physical and occupational therapy. and one a bachelor degree and she and her husband are potters and have a business in Minnesota.
Obviously to me at least, neither their mother nor I were capable of putting them thru all that education. They individually did what they did most largely by work, scholarships, student loans and what we could provide. They get the credit! Their mother and I got ours via the same route.