Skip to main content

My MacDill is…

I was US Army stationed at Ft. Stewart, Ga and, in July 1966, I was on a Honor Guard Burial Team sent down to provide military honors for a young soldier, who had been killed in Germany, in an accident. We left very dark early in the morning, heading south on US 301, to MacDill AFB. We were to spend the night there and then go to Dade City the next morning for the funeral. We arrived late in the afternoon at MacDill, unloaded our gear at an old WWII style wooden barracks and then headed to the Enlisted Man's club for a few or many cold beers. In Georgia the drinking age had been lowered to 18--they figured if you could get sent off to Vietnam and maybe get killed, you should be able to drink alcohol. Ooops!! Florida drinking age (and I guess the AF) was 21 so no beer for us good red-blooded, fresh out of high school, American young men. We went back to the barracks very dejected and calling MacDill AFB and the state of Florida some very bad names. Our Sergeant, however, went out and secured a few cases of cold beer for us. The next morning we packed and dressed in our starched khaki uniforms and headed up to Dade City and performed the Military Honors for the young deceased man, in 100+degree heat. I moved to Zephyrhills years ago and spent many days looking for the old un-air conditioned church and the beautiful old cemetary that was surrounded by many majestic oaks, no luck yet.
I visited MacDill 41 years later and could not locate the old barracks or the EM club, I wanted to have a beer there for ole times sake, no luck on that goal either.
Ben Youmans, US Army, 2/66--9/73, Vietnam Veteran.

What's Yours?

Show your pride by taking then share your MacDill story today!