Snook’s Army History (Part 3)

Just like Snook, a soldier receives his uniforms at Camp Grant, Illinois. Source: Midway Village Museum – Digital Collections

The next day did arrive, and I felt like I hadn’t had any sleep at all. I don’t think I really did. We had our formation at 6:00 a.m. and went to the mess hall for breakfast. Then we went to the supply depot to pick up all our army clothes. When we got those, the first thing you had to do was put them on, and then pack up your civilian clothes and go down to the base post office, and send them home. Now, I really knew I was in the Army!

Mr. Harry Perlee, superintendent of mail, provides service to soldiers at the Camp Grant Post Office, c. 1941-45. Source: Midway Village Museum – Digital Collections

Finally, on May 15th, 1942, we boarded a train again, and arrived at Camp J.T. Robinson, at Little Rock, Arkansas. We arrived on May 16th for basic training. We were to get 8 weeks of training on the fine points of what it takes to be a soldier. While at Camp Robinson, I got all my teeth looked at, and one filled, and my shots taken. Some of the shots caused some of the guys to pass out, they hurt so bad. We learned to march in step, and do K.P., or also, Table Waiter, which was worse. I was assigned to Company B. 72nd Training Battalion, whatever that was. All the time I was there, I served K.P. once a week, and Table Waiter once a week. I complained to the Sarge once, but he said that’s just the way it is! The reason Table Waiter was so bad, was because you had to clean and scrub all the tables, mop the floor, and clean all the windows. It took all day. At least with K.P., you just had to peel potatoes and help serve the food.

Immunization records for two soldiers during WWII. Source: Immunization to Protect the US Armed Forces: Heritage, Current Practice, and Prospects, Epidemiologic Reviews, Volume 28, Issue 1, August 2006, Pages 3–26.

For additional information about Camp Grant, please see the links and bibliography in the prior post. For more information about Camp Joseph T. Robinson, here is a short bibliography of additional resources.

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