Veterans Day 2021

Veterans Day honors all the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Originally called Armistice Day, this day of recognition started in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I. Fighting of “the war to end of wars” ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Photo of Roy

U.S. Army Veteran
Roy Carlson

In honor of Veterans Day, we would like to share the story of one of our Always Best Care clients.

At the age of 23, Roy Carlson was drafted into the Army and began his training at boot camp in Kentucky. We asked Roy to tell us a little bit about his two years (1953-55) of service.

Q: What was boot camp like?
A: It was a very thorough fitness camp! I was at Fort Campbell in Kentucky with about 250 other guys. Infantry basic was 16 weeks of running up and down hills and learning how to use small arms weapons.

I was there in the summer and it was hot! They gave us salt tablets to help with dehydration. We put double soles on our shoes because you could feel the heat coming up through the gravel. But our superiors found out about that and we had to take the extra soles off. Lots of guys collapsed running in that heat. They did let up on how much we had to run a little bit because of that.

We didn’t have a pool. We swam in an excavated pond that was dug so that we had extra water in case there was a fire or other emergency.

Q: What was your primary job after training?
A: I had to wait for my assignment along with 5 other guys. We were all assigned to different units in different parts of the country. I was assigned as a draftsman in Technical Service Unit 9330 at Red Stone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Q: Where did you serve the majority of your time in the service?
A: I was at Red Stone Arsenal for 19 months. There were about 40 guys in my quarters; we all worked in different units on different parts of the base. My unit worked with civilians so I had a 5 day work week with weekends off. I had a car when I was in the army and I would meet my fiancee in Chicago on my time off so we could plan our wedding. At the end of my time at Red Stone I was honorably discharged from the army and came back to Chicago. I got married 5 weeks later.

Q: What rank are you most proud to have earned and why?
A: I earned the rank of Corporal, which meant I had men under me. It meant a lot to me to be able to earn that rank.

Q: What do you remember the most about your time in the service?
A: In the Technical Services Unit we were assigned to work with a unit that worked on handling and launching missiles. They would bring pieces of missiles back to the hangar where I was and analyze them to figure out what went wrong and how to make the missiles better. It was pretty interesting and I learned a lot working along side those guys.

I made some good friends while I was in the army. I learned to play bridge with 3 other fellas during our down time. There was a golf course not too far from our post that we went to from time to time too.

And to all the veterans among your family members and friends:
Thank you for your service!