Saturday, July 20, 2019

I remember where I was ...

... when Neil Armstrong took "one small step... ." At 10:30 P.M. EDT on July 20, 1969 I was at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania, prone on the ground next to an M-60 machine gun, with my poncho draped over me as it was raining steadily. I was there with other members of my ROTC summer training platoon, waiting to ambush an "enemy" convoy that never showed up. It was near the end of a field exercise that lasted several days and was the capstone of our training. We may have known of the launch of Apollo 11 before we boarded the helicopters that took us to the training area, but we didn't know of the successful moon landing until we returned to our barracks, and our radios.
There were other events I missed during my time at IGMR.  Jimi Hendrix played "The Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock. On my way back to Tampa, I stopped to visit a friend in Richmond. She said something about Chappaquiddick, and I said, "Chappa who?"

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Erratum: when I first wrote this, I put the date of the moon landing as 1979 instead of '69. My bad, and I've corrected it.

Moon landing photo: CCO Public Domain.