Dear Coco , thank you for your e mail today. I always enjoy e mail from you and Daniel. And I thank you for all things that you do for me.
I will try and answer your question. I remember being called into the army very well.
I can’t remember if the time was late 1957, or if it was Jan. 1958. My life was Drag Racing. For the past 4 years I had been driving fuel Dragsters, which is N.H.R.A.’S fastest class. Unknowing to me at this time ,I was as good as was ever to be.
I had been invited to compete in a week long event called. Speed Week. This found myself and my crew at a drive in restaurant, after work , discussing what we should do to prepare for this big race. We decided that we should build a new , much larger and more modern engine. The engine would be an Ardun Merc. The reason for this engine was that we already had some of the parts needed, such as the expensive and rare , cylinder heads.
Soon we would leave for home. Every one was very excited about the new engine idea and the week of Fun!
Arriving home, at about 11 p. m., I entered my Mothers living room and there was a large envelope on the table. The envelope told that the letter was from the government. I opened the envelope and the letter read that I had been Drafted into the U.S. army! Iwas to report on the 12 th of Feb., 1958.
Never have I become so sick on my stomach, so quick!
I sat down in my chair. My Mother now came into the room. I must have appeared sick, because my Mother asked, “What is wrong”? I told her that I had been Drafted! She began to cry.
My Mother soon returned to her room as I sat in my chair, staring at the floor.
I was 23 years old and my only thoughts from age 16 was Drag Racing. I now felt all this, the life that I had built for myself, slowly slipping away. Disappearing. I was very scared!
I had thoughts about contacting my doctor and trying for a deferment. And the Red Cross, because my Dad was sick. But then I thought , Real men just don’t do things like this.
So , Feb. 12, 1958 my life would change forever.
There was talk on the ship when we were on our way to Korea that we were going to Vietnam, but that was only rumors.
The attached photo from 1954 show the 1st fuel injected drag racing car. George Breen is the one on the right of the photo