So the army lets me out a few days early to register for college. I should have been in till February, but they send me home from Vietnam on 7 December 1970. I have to enroll right away. Until then, I’m still on active duty, a member of the 4th Infantry Division. But from the moment I’m enrolled, I’m a civilian.
So on the 8th, a Tuesday, I went to enroll at the junior college.
What I remember is walking out of the registrar’s office, sitting beneath a tree, looking out over the campus — somebody’s throwing a frisbee — and being overwhelmed with a simple thought. I’m alive.
I was twenty years old.