Summary: A good soldier endures suffering; Doesn't entangle himself with the things of the world and wants to please his commanding officer.

The Lord’s Army

November 10, 2013

I am a proud veteran. I come from a long line of veterans. I can trace ancestors who served in the military all the way back to the Revolutionary War. William Burch, from Haw River, North Carolina, was just a boy when he joined -but he served our country as it was just beginning. He was twelve when the war started and only 15 when it ended. He died in 1848 at the age of 84 in Monroe County, Indiana and was buried in Burch Cemetery there.

Here is a copy of my great, great grandfathers discharge papers from the Civil War. Daniel Adams was with the Northern Army, 8th Independent Battery, and Wisconsin Light Artillery. His outfit saw a lot of action from Chickamauga, Stones River, Chattanooga, Corinth, and Perryville.

My grandfather, John Edward Grossman, fought in the trenches of WWI as a machine gunner. He lost most of his hearing there and mustard gas ate out the roof of his mouth so he always had a raspy tone to his voice.

My father, Frederick Stanley Grossman, Sr., was a decorated hero of WWII. He fought in the Pacific theater and had 4 overseas bars, a Philippine Liberation service ribbon and a bronze star with a ‘V’ for valor.

My brother, Frederick Stanley Grossman, Jr. served in Vietnam and saw action there and struggled with PTSD for years.

I volunteered for Vietnam and got sent to Korea in 1968-69. I served in the Military Police and was a sergeant with my own dog handler squad. My son, Benjamin Andrew Grossman, was with the airborne combat team in Italy. My cousin Lt. Col. David Grossman probably has done more for veterans than anyone in the Veterans Administration. He taught at West Point and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize with his first book, On Killing. He continues to teach military, police, educator and veterans today.

I give you my history to let you know that my family and I love our country and have been proud to serve.

My service began one cold spring day in 1967 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. I had worked the previous summer and fall with Boeing Minuteman Missile that my Uncle (Dave’s Dad), who was in charge of security, got me a job with. I wanted to work in security but was too young. So rather than getting drafted and put wherever the army wanted me – I joined so I could be a Military Policeman. Before I knew it I was getting off the bus at Fort Campbell, KY, the home of the ‘Screaming Eagles’ for basic training. As an E-1 I got the whopping sum of $68 a month -just enough to keep me in cigarettes and watered down beer.

Before I knew it, basic was over and I was on my way to Fort Gordon, Georgia. I got there a little early so a big burly Sergeant made me go stand in a line and wait for a bus. Before I knew it I was in “Leadership Training School”. Consequently, I went through MP school as an ‘acting jack’, which is an acting sergeant in charge of leading the other men. The good thing about that was that it got me out of “KP” and I got my PFC stripe (no rocker then) upon graduation.

AIT went by pretty fast and I found myself in my first duty as a guard at a Nike site between Baltimore and Washington, DC. Before long I was a Spec 4 and after 11 months I was headed to Korea. When I arrived in Korea I was given of choice of line duty, which was 20 days on and I day off (at least that is what they told me) or become a dog handler. I volunteered for dog handler training and found myself on the DMZ for dog handler school.

I served as a dog handler school for a few months and before I knew it I got my stripes for sergeant E-5. I got my squad of dog handlers and began working with them.

I would like to tell you that I enjoyed my service in the military but the fact of the matter is that I hated it. I was not only far from home, but far from the Lord. I was like the prodigal son and broke every command in the Book. Before long I felt like life sucked. That was my philosophy of life – “Life sucks – you are better off dead!” Everything I tried, alcohol, drugs, sex, sports – you name it – ended up with more pain that pleasure. And sometimes I would put my men out on post and find a quiet dark place and contemplate ending the pain of life.

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