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Author Topic: A Gift for Completing Basic  (Read 4801 times)

Offline Scorpio55

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A Gift for Completing Basic
« on: March 18, 2012, 11:12:04 PM »
When I was a young lad, a uncle on my mother's side went to school and became a watch repairman.  I was awed by watching him repair and build these mechanical wonders.  So from an early age, I have always had a love affair w/watches.
Now I grew up in the South @ a time when most people in my home town worked in the local Cotton Mill, and I also had @ a early age decided this was not my lot in life.  So in 1973, January I raised my right hand and swore to defend the Constitution of these United States.  This also was during Americas winding down from being engaged with a War in a country known as Vietnam.  So off to Ft. Jackson I went, not knowing where this would lead.  So after 8 weeks of training, that resulted in my becoming a man who understood nothing was not as difficult as one thought, hey, I just finished 8 weeks of combat training for the honor of going to the Nam. :what
Remember, I was classied RA, volunteer not a draftee.
But I was proud of completing Basic with all my limbs and eyes still where they belonged!
Now I was on pass and while with some friends, went down town.  Had just been paid a months pay and ready to blow off some steam.  But as I walked past a little Jeweler Shop, in the window was a watch that stopped me dead in my tracks.
I stepped into this little shop and asked to see the watch in the window, the clerk smiled and said, you got a eye for watches!
He placed into my hand, this BIG, honking heavy, built like a tank watch .  He then begain to exsplain what features the watch had and where it was made,  I knew what a automatic movement was and I was sold the minute he placed that marvel into my hand, oh sorry, the watch was a Gold Tone SST, or as known the Mystery Watch.
It took almost my whole months pay, back then, this was a chunk of change to pay for a watch, but I left that shop with it on my arm.  I would wear that watch everyday from then on until my 2nd tour in Germany 7 years later.
I can not for sure say whatever happened to that watch, had so many watches since then, but I  sure wishd I still had her today.  But hey, wait, I received a e-mail Friday,  Tuesday, the USPS will deliver to me a new SST :wehe
This one will stay around until toes up!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 11:18:43 PM by Scorpio55 »
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Offline TJW

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 11:20:23 PM »
Great story. Thanks and welcome!

Offline jon p

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 08:55:05 AM »
 :ur :welc  thanks for sharing!!  i think a lot of us obtained our zodiacs while in the military, i did during basic at ft benning ga in 1968! a sea wolf. where are you from in the south, i am in winder ga.

Online Butch

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 09:11:53 AM »
Scorpio, if you went to Jackson at the end of Oct. then be might have been in the same company. Nice story indeed.

In case memory fails, an E-1 made $304.00/mo. in Oct. '73.
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Offline dmh

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 10:40:46 AM »
Scorpio, if you went to Jackson at the end of Oct. then be might have been in the same company. Nice story indeed.

In case memory fails, an E-1 made $304.00/mo. in Oct. '73.

WOW!
That was big money back then. Big raise in 7 years. Base pay for an E-1 was $98 when I went in in June 1966. I was making less than $300 a month when I got out in June 1968. That included Sgt E-5, TDY, and proficiency pay.
Best,
dmh 

Offline jon p

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 05:17:37 PM »
in 1968 E-1 pay was $98. and $40. of that went home to the wife, no choice!! by the time i got out when living in germany as SPEC-5 i brought home right at $500. whice included overseas pay because of  isolation in wildflecken, and housing allowance plus seperate ration allowance! wow, the germans thought we were rich!! i bought my SW at ft benning, looking back now i wish i had been interested in watches while in germany, but i was into stereos annd pentax cameras instead!! oh well...........

Offline Scorpio55

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 08:43:49 PM »
:ur :welc  thanks for sharing!!  i think a lot of us obtained our zodiacs while in the military, i did during basic at ft benning ga in 1968! a sea wolf. where are you from in the south, i am in winder ga.
Charlotte, N.C.
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Offline Scorpio55

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 08:50:21 PM »
Scorpio, if you went to Jackson at the end of Oct. then be might have been in the same company. Nice story indeed.

In case memory fails, an E-1 made $304.00/mo. in Oct. '73.
It was a lonnnng timmmme agoooo, but I do believe you are right, seems I spent the wad on the watch and I seem to remember it cost $300.00.  I wore that watch everyday and it never once lost time, people would ask me all the time how does that watch work, you can just guess some of the BS they heard about the floating red ball and dials.
When I PCS'd to Germany the 1st time, a fella who use to buy certain items from me :sho, tried and tried to buy the watch.  Heck the thing was made next door to his country, why did he want mine?
The watch that replced it was a Rolex I purchased from a German Jeweler f/$700.00 :o, that same watch today sells for way more than that.  I still wore the Zodiac while on duty and kept it for many years, but alas as time slips by and 2 more PCS's, the watch went bye bye. :'(


PS: C-4-1 down three rows from Tank Hill, and I am sure you remember Angony Hill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 08:53:29 PM by Scorpio55 »
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Offline Scorpio55

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Re: A Gift for Completing Basic
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 08:56:19 PM »
Scorpio, if you went to Jackson at the end of Oct. then be might have been in the same company. Nice story indeed.

In case memory fails, an E-1 made $304.00/mo. in Oct. '73.

WOW!
That was big money back then. Big raise in 7 years. Base pay for an E-1 was $98 when I went in in June 1966. I was making less than $300 a month when I got out in June 1968. That included Sgt E-5, TDY, and proficiency pay.
Best,
dmh 

When I got out as a E-6/SSG, Sep Rats, Housing I was clearing around $1300.00 a month.
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