1994, when I was here with members of my OCS class, we visited
the site where the Signal OCS barracks once stood. The buildings
were gone, the grounds were being prepared for new construction
but we found our way around the area.
I do not recall who brought it up,
but we all spoke of hearing the ghosts of OCS running through
the area, and all the sounds that each of us associated with the
program. Someone mentioned that he could hear the sounds of the
Senior Candidate Parade!
That memory has stayed with me,
and our Chaplain can verify most of what was said on that day,
and the emotions that were felt.
In the past few years, sometimes late at
night, or after a particularly rough day of assembling data,
locating people and taking care of business, I have a dream.
There are times that the dream comes to me when I am wide awake.
The first part of that dream shows a
deserted parade field. Then I see faint images along the edges
of the parade field. Finally I can see shadow-like forms of
thousands of new 2LTs standing as if in formation, around the
entire parade ground.. .. Their faces
a sadness. and I know
that this is because they are the 9,200 known deceased of our
25,000 brothers. And they are waiting for something. Then in
the distance I hear the sounds of the Military Band and looking
down that parade field I see battalion after battalion of new
2LTs marching up the parade field, standing tall, preparing to
Pass In Review.
These are the 6,000 that are
living, coming to pay tribute to those that have gone before us!
It is an awesome sight, one that I cannot
shake off for days, nor do I want to do so. As I watch this
parade, the dim forms on the sidelines become clearer and their
faces beam with the pride that we all felt the day those gold
bars were pinned on.
THEN as we march
past, those who have gone before us fall in step behind us and
we come to this Memorial site, which the Command and Staff of
Fort Gordon made possible for us, and we
assemble here in Fellowship, old friends getting back together,
reliving the days when we were ready to make any sacrifice to
defend this country against its enemies.
is at this site that we gather today to honor those that I see
in that dream, both to say a prayer for them, for us and for
those to come. It is also a gathering in honor of those not yet
found, or accounted for.
AND This is why I am here today to pay
tribute to a select group of special people who deserve to be
remembered and deserve to have their place in the history of the
Signal Corps and the United States Army.
God has blessed each of us with the OCS
experience and it is our duty to insure that it does not become
lost to the generations to come.
This story is copyrighted by its author. Links to this page for non-commercial purposes are permitted without restriction.
Reproduction or quotations used for non-commercial purposes are permitted
the Author is cited as the author and ArmySignalOCS.com is cited as the source.