Magazine

From the October 2017 magazine.

Court-Martialed

After dropping out of high school in 1948 (it was the school’s idea), I enlisted in the U.S. Army. I went in as a private, and four years later I was discharged as a private. My claim to fame was that I had never been demoted. I was court-martialed once, but I was acquitted, not because I was innocent but because I lied.

In 1952, I was still drinking and I enlisted in the Air Force. The recruiter and I made a few adjustments to my records. He took a pencil and marked me down as a PFC and a high school graduate. During my first year, I’d get drunk and disappear for days. I managed to get court-martialed three times. I always entered a guilty plea and told the presiding officer that when I drank I could not stop and I had no idea of what happened. They told me not to drink so much. 

-- Leo R.

Portsmouth, Va., USA

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