I took United Airlines from SFO to NYC; found Port Authority, & a bus to the Thayer. When I arrived, I did run around with a group of guys who were sooo impressive, patriotic, excited to be at USMA, & ready to serve in Vietnam. I, myself & several others, weren’t exactly prepared for the shock of being screamed & yelled at, starting with the Man in the Red Sash. For naive suburban-ites & my other country-boy friends, that day was a truly life-changing experience.
I was so terrified (from ZERO & I mean absolutely NO prior Military experience), that, here goes: One time, I did well at “tables” & perfectly “saying the days” at a lunch in Washington Hall. Thus, I was “rewarded” with an extra apple & orange. While walking back across the yard toward my quarters, I knew I had to “Salute” an upperclassman. What to do, with an apple in one hand & An orange in the other? Of course, Salute, no matter the fruit! Uh-Huh?! Instant yelling plus 2 more demerits.