Two Military Jeep Stories
At the Veterans Day parade on 11/11/2021, Jim Barnes brought his military jeep to join our VVA126 Veterans Day Parade. The jeep reminded me of two events in my active duty career in Germany in 1966.
I was assigned to Sick Call duties on maneuvers in Hohenfels, Germany during Operation Big Lift. Several enlisted men were being examined by a medic. We directed most of them to report to their sleeping quarters, several to return to field duty, but one man had a swollen jaw. I thought that an aspirin remedy was not proper so I called my jeep driver and had him take the private to the battalion headquarters dentist in the field several miles away. About two hours later I received a call from the dentist who told me “Lieutenant Edelman, I want you to know that you saved this private's life as he had pyorrhea and I operated on him, and will keep him for a couple of days.” It made me feel so good then, and still does now.
I was in the 547th Engineer Battalion, led by Col. McElwee. One day, he called on me to check out the 22 mile route that the Battalion would be moving the next day, and report to him. With the driver of my jeep (1/4 ton truck), we proceeded. I came back with a report of potential problems moving our crane, bulldozers, graders, Bailey Bridge, Floating Bridge, dump trucks, et al, on the roads and villages that we would be passing through. One village had very narrow streets, and that would require our crane operator ready to bring the crane tower from the horizontal position on the low-boy to a vertical position, so that we would not do any damage to the buildings when we made a turn. Other unpaved roads needed a grader to improve the road surface. Lessons learned included: reconnoiter your advancement whenever possible to take action to reduce or eliminate problems. I have, and still use this lesson learned so many years ago when searching for new venues for my glee clubs and my VVA chapter.
US Army Corps of Engineers