Final Training in Virginia
Reflecting on Education and Discrimination
"I ended up getting some more training in camera FLIR at engineering school in Balfour Virginia (sic -- this could be Balls Ford, Virginia), and went overseas with this unit after. The fellows really were ready to eat nails. They had 14 weeks of infantry basic training before we joined them in Mississippi, and they had 14 weeks of engineering – engineer combat battalion basic training – and they did not get past it. And a number of them were from Philadelphia and New York, they were East Coast youngsters.
And getting back to the whole reference to the idea of education, a number of them were classified as illiterates prior to coming into the service, but with the intensive demonstration training in the short period of three months, they were using highly educated equipment of destruction, but very effectively. And at the same time, some of them even developed improvements, innovations on some of the firing mechanisms on one of the machine guns we were training with.
And I think in my own conscience mind I was beginning to develop some thoughts and surfaced later and that is the whole idea of how to evaluate a person, and as to dealing with them effectively and honestly. And I [now believe] we may be losing some of our more innovative minds through credential requirements."