This will be the second post of many in this series (hopefully). The main reason for this one is to inform those out there what led me to join the Army in the first place, just in case you didn’t know.
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): I joined the Army because of my dad, Ronald Eberhard.
It all started back when I was a kid. I’m not really sure how old, but I was somewhere between the ages of 7 and 11 I think. I knew nothing really in my life. I was just a kid. But I do remember Christmas dinner on Fort Douglas, with turkey and all the fixin’s, and Santa Claus and candy canes. I also remember it was the one time a year my father pulled his dusty Class A (dress) uniform out of the closet and wore it. Long tables in a chapel-like building, and dinner together as a family. I knew that my father was in the Army. I didn’t know what he did until much later in life, but I remember those family days. I also remember the family days during the summer, with all sorts of wacky things going on on the parade field. Dunking booths, cotton candy, getting dog tags and ID cards. Everything. That was the Army to me as an elementary school student. That and the museum that we visited on occasion with the Cub/Boy Scouts. The other thing I remember about my dad in the Army growing up was that he would do it every Tuesday night.
When I was this age, I had vague knowledge of my father being on active duty before I was born. All I really knew was that my older brother was born in Germany because dad was in the Army. I also saw all his unit patches and whatnot from his various stops along the way, but I knew not what they meant. Pops was in the Army Reserve until I was about 12; don’t really know why he retired, but maybe he didn’t need the money anymore after he got his job with the post office after trying so hard. Or maybe he just got old and couldn’t do it anymore. I guess I will have to ask him. All I know is that his service, in the small amount that I understood about it, drew me to the Army.
I think one day soon I will sit down with Dad and actually record his entire Army experience for posterity. He has told many stories to me and my siblings, and I do remember most of them, but now that I understand the Army a bit more that I have been in for 8 1/2 years, I think it might be a good time to start getting that oral history recorded. My father is not “famous,” or otherwise remarkable. He didn’t become a general or even serve on the frontlines anywhere. But I think his experiences in the Army somehow convinced me that it was neat enough to try out, and almost led me to joining right out of high school, which will be the topic of the next blog in this series.
That’s it for now.