Last weekend, I had an opportunity to exercise a little poor judgment. Being somewhat experienced in this advanced management skill, I coped with the situation, but the event sent a long submerged memory bobbing to the surface.
During the summer of 1968 I reported to Ft. Sill, Okla. for ROTC summer camp. Several of us from Northeast Texas rode together. I was the lucky one with wheels.
A few of the guys were to report on Monday. I signed in on Tuesday. After dropping my friends at the base hospital for physicals, I toured the fabulous sights of Lawton, eventually sharing a motel room with some buddies. I slept on the floor with the mattress from a baby bed for a pillow.
The next day it was my turn to take the physical and report to Camp Eagle out in a remote portion of Ft. Sill. At the time, I toyed with becoming a helicopter pilot, so I requested the aviator physical which included having my eyes dilated.
After the physical, I gathered up my riders and drove out to the tent city which would be our home for the next six weeks. The road was a hard-surfaced two-lane affair, much like a Farm-to- Market road back home. I was cruising along at about 55 miles per hour when I saw the police lights in my rear-view mirror. The military police sergeant advised me the speed limit was 30 everywhere on the base and gave me a receipt much like any other cop. I didn’t think much of the “ticket,” expecting to pay for it sometime in the future.
The future arrived a couple of weeks later just prior to our first visit to the main base for a movie and a drink.
“Cadet Palmer, report to the captain,” the CQ runner (an enlisted man or in this case ROTC cadet assigned to carry out menial chores for the duty NCO) announced from the entry of our eightman tent.
I quickly straightened my uniform and double timed…
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