On Friday we visited Ft. Jackson. The visit started off with a beautiful memorial service in the post chapel. The service was led by an Army Chaplain and had an Army Color Guard. Each memorial service includes a reading of the names of the 87th veterans that have died since the last reunion. This year was a long list. Fewer and fewer vets are attending the reunions. This year we had 13. Our plans are to continue to until there are no more who can attend.
After the memorial service, we had lunch at the NCO club. The group was welcomed to the base by Col. Joseph McLamb, the Deputy Commanding Officer. After lunch we toured the post museum with displays depicting the phases of Basic Combat Training. We drove to Tank Hill where most of the Basic Training company barracks are located. They are barracks no more, but are called Starships. Each of the company living quarters are connected centrally to the battalion headquarters. These are a far cry from the WWII era wooden barracks that the 87th soldiers stayed in and were still in use when I was there in 1970. In conversation with the Drill Sergeants who accompanied us on the buses, they reminded me of "Drag Ass Hill". It was the hill that all soldiers ran or double timed up at the end of a training day at the ranges. It's funny how you forget those things. The day was capped off with a picnic dinner and performance by Kevin the singing illusionist. A fun moving and fun day.