Reflections of childhood - Jack Miller
During the early days of my research, like any new genealogist, I bombarded all family members with requests for information. I was quite lucky. Most responded with more than I ever could have asked for in a Q & A session. It appears I am not the only family member with a penchant for family memories. Here is an excerpt from a very long missive I received from my uncle, Jack Miller (27 June 1930 - 10 October 2009). While Jack msy be gone, his memories will live on through this and his other letters, stories, and of course his life's work and the many publications he produced.
I have added additional details within the [brackets]
I(Jack) entered the service on July 25th, 1947, about six weeks after leaving high school, and a month after turning 17.
I met D.D. [Dorothy Dora Sundin 1932 -2004] on March 18th, 1953 and nine days later was whisked away to Pilot Training in San Antonio, Texas from New Jersey.
Meanwhile, we’d become engaged, and kept up a whirlwind romance by mail until I was transferred to Kinston Air Base in North Carolina. I had four days to drive the trip, so naturally took the ‘short route’ from Texas via New Jersey, driving all night, spending two days there, and driving all night to make it just in time. We met one more time over Labor Day weekend in Richmond, VA where her parents and sister, Joan, drove down and I drove up.
We decided to get married after the Air force started to transfer me to West Texas to finish up my pilot training in Bombers. We married in secret (at least from the service). Ninety two guests were at the New Jersey wedding including Mrs. Maiden from Vermont, Mother from Valdosta, Pete and Frank from Marietta.
I returned from our honeymoon at the NJ shore (in December yet), only to pass out on my first solo acrobatic flight. D.D. had relocated to Kinston where she shared a room with another girl whose husband also had to live on base. We sang in the choir to get Saturday nights off (until 10pm) and formed a drum & bugle corps to get Wednesday nights in town to see our brides.
During that time I made $59 per month , and lived on it! I first met your [Barbara] mom (Anne Elschner, Miller [1927 - 2008]) at Kinston where she and Tad [Frank Miller 1929 - 1973] came to visit in his 1936 Mercedes Benz when they first came back to the USA from Germany. I spent the remainder of my time in service as an enlisted man, 20 years, 2 months and 11 days in all.
I left as a Senior Master Sergeant (E-8 pay grade) and retired from Italy. Went through basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas where I also trained as a Cadet. I was on the ground crew of the first airplane that ever went completely around the world non-stop. I spent seven years living overseas out of 20, and 11 years in schools, graduating from the University of Omaha with a bachelor’s degree in 1965.
I’m the only one of my generation in the family who actually graduated from college even though both mother and dad had graduated together with most of my uncles and aunt Fern.
Learn more about our family at MY Family Genealogy Site
on 2012-07-07 06:24:40
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