In the fall of September 1963. I received a letter form President, John F. Kennedy that I was to report to the Army on February 04, 1964. President Kennedy was short and killed in November of 1963. I later I learn that President Abraham Lincoln was short and killed in 1863. John F. Kennedy’s secretary last name was Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln’s secretary last name was Kennedy. Abraham Lincoln abolish slavery in 1863. John F. Kennedy initiated Civil Rights in 1963.
Back to my army career that begin at Fort Ord infantry “4” Battalion 3rd Brigade. After I finish boot camp. I was train as a member of the Signal Corp. And also chosen for NCO school where I became platoon leader. After finishing AIT I was sent to Fort Carson, Colorado. Assign to the 6th Howitzer Battalion Battery “C” 20th Artillery.
Award the “Certificate of Appreciation” given at Fort Carson, Colorado. Present to Jason A. Lewis Jr, US 56 368 633.
Jason A. Lewis Jr enthusiasm, knowledge, perseverance and unswerving devotion to duty, while performing his assigned tasks for long, trying weeks under the strain of intensive observation and extreme weather conditions, is indicative of his outstanding professionalism and complete dedication to the service. He has earned the distinction of being singled out as a soldier in every sense of the word whose characteristic are worthy of emulation by all Artillerymen, the member of the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and the United States Army. Walter V. Applegate, Major , Artillery Commanding Office.
While at Fort Carson my company was given a driving test for skill and proficiency in an army jeep towing a trailer. We had to drive the jeep with trailer through these stanchions about the length of a parking space. In and out between the poles like a snake while being timed without touching any of the poles with the jeep or trailer. I drove through with the fastest time and without touching any of the poles. My sergeant said,” okay Lewis you’re so bad lets see you back the jeep and trailer through without touching any of the poles.” I drove the jeep and trailer without touching any of the poles. My sergeant said,” I don’t believe it some of these guys can’t drive forward without touching the poles.”
I was given the title of the “Most Skilled and Proficient Driver” on the base. I was allowed to drive every thing that had wheels. I drove the post bus, 3/4 ton trucks, 2& 1/2ton trucks, 5 ton trucks and jeep for my CO and other COs in my battalion whenevery their were hazardous weather conditions. . I was asked by the Commanding General of the base to be his personal driver of his jeep and army sedan.
I remember early one morning in the winter it was 40 below “0” with a 14 mile wind, which made it feel like 70 below “0” the street had black ice on it. I was order to take a 5 ton truck pulling a 6 ton 155 mm howitzer from the motor pool. We were going to the field for cold weather training by order of the Commanding General. But we all thought why do we need cold weather training when we might be going to Vietnam?
When you are in the army you do what you orders. And I was to be the lead driver in the convoy. As I made my first right turn the howitzer started to jackknife into the oncoming lane. These trucks have 10 forward gears and was in compound low gear which is for pulling heavy loads. My truck and howitzer took two lines for almost half a block. It was a good thing there no traffic in the oncoming lane. I was able to break the ice for the rest of the convoy. I also had to perform my duties to set up communications for my CO.