"I was working at Sutherland Paper company as a commercial artist and also building our first house when I got my "greeting" for induction on March 2, 1951. I was to report on March 29th. I wrote a letter asking for a deferment so I could get the house closed. They granted me a postponement until May 10, 1951. My uncle and brother-in-law served in World War II, and they both saw action.
My first camp was at Fort Custer, which was 20 miles from home, so my ...family was able to visit on the weekends. After basic training, I was sent to Camp Breckinridge in Morganfield, Kentucky. I used to hitch rides home whenever I could – all the way from Kentucky to Michigan! By the time I got home, I didn't have much time left, but we stayed in our new home that I had built, even though it wasn't done.
I was on the frontline as a forward observer with a scope calling fire and spotting the enemy. We lived in bunkers in the hill. We all wrote letters back and forth. In the beginning, I never got any letters, even though my mother and wife were writing to me every day! It finally dawned on me to ask if there was any mail under my nickname of "Jerry" instead of my given name of Merrill. They said, "Are you kidding? We’ve got a whole box here for Jerry!" They had only known me as Merrill!
I was sent back to the States and discharged on February 11, 1953."
-Merrill "Jerry" C., Cupertino, CA
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