18 May 1980 was my ETS (Estimated Termination of Service) date although the actual date was 17 May. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I was to start college in September and had an entire summer with a Fiat X1/9 in Florida. Things were looking up.
The Fiat had a seat belt monitor that could also tell when I had cash in my wallet...which is when it broke. I had to hustle for college loans, basic education grants, the GI Bill and two part time jobs to pay for my first year of college while working the summer as a midnight to 8:00AM security guard at Marine Land.
The Pendleton flannel shirt was from the Ft Bragg PX and I don't even wanna know where those gloves came from. The Fiat (Fix It Again Tony) was a complete piece of crap that many years later friends in London would laughingly tell me, "You owned a Hairdresser's car, mate."
The Leave and Earning's Statement lists Jump Pay at $55.00 a month. Unchanged since WWII when fifty five bucks could go a long way. Still, the "Laundry" or Quarter Master Laundry was a steal. All laundry was done for $8 a month although jeans were always starched which pissed me off to no end but seemed to make the guys from Texas happy.
Soon there will the same number of years (31) between the end of WWII and when I enlisted in the Army. These calculations kill me.