Erick W. Miller

Of course that’s not his real name. Theodore McCormick was his real name, but he didn’t look like “Ted”, he looked more like America’s Most Wanted. The guy was 6’2″ with a face full of scars. I vaguely remember his mug from Fort Polk. I saw it again at Camp Evans at the Screaming Eagle Replacement Training Station, or SERTS for those of you into acronyms.

This place was a wake up call. They showed you how stupid and vulnerable you are and then mercifully did something about it.

Seems like I couldn’t escape ‘Dilinger’ because we wound up in the same company, Bravo of the I st 327 Infantry whose base of operation was Camp Eagle. Such a glorious mudhole, like Camp Evans, only different. This is not to say we were garrison troops, our real home was in the mountains, kind of like a death sentence. Suspended, but still definitely a very real possibility.

So McCormick and I are sitting on our duffel bags in the orderly room waiting for Top, (the First Sergeant) to show up. This Airborne old man was a soldier’s soldier. Top Sellers would go to the field with his troops. The company is due in from the field any minute. Theodore and I had already had a few (maybe more) cold ones at the EM club. Now my friend got of his duffel bag and starts searching diligently through said bag. I’m thinking that a search of this magnitude must be for something real important. Well, young Mr. McCormick has all his gear spread all over the floor when at the very bottom of this mess, be finally finds the object of his monumental quest. Not the Holy Grail or anything even remotely so important. He dug out a can of beer so old and hot that most of the paint bad peeled off . He opened this thing as if it bad just come from a Refrigerator back in the world and commenced to drink.

That is when I said, “Man, are you ever loose!” The name fit and it stuck with him ever since. He shared his hot beer and we remain friends to this day.