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Army Intelligence at 15

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  • Army Intelligence at 15

    A long time friend and patient, going all the way back to grad school in 1979, was in my office last week. The last appointment so we could catch up on everything. Asking about her father she told me that he had stage 4 lung cancer. That is clearly a very bad diagnosis now as it means the cancer has moved away from the lungs to other organs. I asked if her Dad was a smoker and the answer was yes. Next, how long did he smoke? About one pack a day for 40 years. Wow, and he started at 15.

    Fifteen, how did that happen? It was while in the Army. Army? Now my brain goes through the numbers quickly. He is 82, he was born in 1936, he was 15 in 1951. So I ask if this was the Nationalist Chinese Army as I was sure it wasn't the Communist Chinese Army. No, he was drafted by the US Army because he used someone else's ID to enter the country. It was noted that he spoke Mandarin, Cantonese and some Korean. So the Army sent him to school for more Korean and posted him to Army Intelligence at the age of 15. He served four years there and was honorably discharged and they never learned. Ironically I have a Army Captain who was in Army Intelligence from 1953-1963, stationed in Korea, and who speaks fluent Korean. Couldn't have been many in the Army who spoke Korean but I can't ask him as his memory has failed sadly.

  • #2
    That's one hell of a story!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain