Editor’s note: Gregory Pitts writes, I am an Army veteran originally from Lima. Florida is where I’ve called home for the past 14 years. Though I’m in Florida, I read the paper every day. The south side of Lima is where I grew up.
Graduated from Lima Senior in 1983. I’m 53 years old. In 1985, I enlisted in the United States Army. Initially, I accepted a job as an artillery man, with the hopes of being in food service once the position became available. Not wanting to wait around in Lima, I took what was given to me.
My basic training was a tough 13 weeks straight in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. A life changer for a little boy from Lima. I successfully met the requirements to be a fighting soldier. My confidence soared.
After Fort Sill, I was sent to Fort Hood, Texas. Once getting settled, my sergeant told me to report to the kitchen (mess hall). I did so. The first day they had me peeling potatoes. After two weeks, I asked the mess (kitchen supervisor) sergeant how much longer did they need me. His reply was, Pitts, we like you and you know your way around in the kitchen something we’d never seen, being you are an artilleryman. I told him my whole story. He smiled and said it’s your lucky day. We have an on the job training for 90 days. If you past all tests, you’ll never have to leave the kitchen. I ended up doing my entire enlistment in the mess hall (kitchen).
I have so much respect for the United States and all branches of the service. I love the American flag and respect it. Why? It enabled me to be the man I am today. I’ll always stand with pride at any ceremony where our great flag is displayed. God bless the United States of America.