Enlistment in the U.S. Army

Misplaced in Japan

"We had both been listed as AWOL."

"Since I was very young looking even for 17, some of the noncoms thought they could pick on me, and I did have a couple of fights. One occasion our sergeant-- who was a short man-- was trying to impress other recruits and accused me of something that was not true. I called him a liar and he took a swing at me. I ducked and hit him square in the face and knocked him down. He never bothered with me again."

Editor's Note: Life was not easy for Eugene in the Army. Although he and his brother had hoped to be sent to Europe where they could be useful as interpreters and help their grandmother, they were instead sent to Asaka Japan. There, Eugene was assigned to drive a jeep despite having never driven anything but a bicycle previously.  Near the end of his enlistment, Eugene discovered that the Army had, indeed, made a mistake by sending him and his brother to Japan.

"About the time that our enlistment period was coming to an end, Carl and I were told to report to the Division Headquarters. Here we were informed that we had both been listed as AWOL [absent without leave] and the Army had been looking for us since the past year in the States as well as in Europe. Finally someone woke up and decided to check and see if we could have been sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations."