Apollo 11 Memory
July 20, 1969 – I was in the U.S. Army Reserves serving my mandatory two-week summer camp at a base in Minnesota. Early that morning we began a “simulated tactical training exercise.” We had on full battle dress, carried heavy M14 rifles with no ammunition and full packs. We were supposed to conduct ourselves in the forests of Minnesota at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit as if we were in a combat situation. We ate “no cook” rations because fires might give our position away to the “enemy,” drank water from our canteens, dug latrine pits and generally sweltered in the heat with mosquitos the size of small birds!
A few minutes prior to the scheduled landing, we were told to stop our tent erecting, simulated guard duties and told our “simulated tactical training exercise” was temporarily suspended. About fifty of us gathered around a tiny black-and-white TV with rabbit ear-style antenna. A gasoline powered generator was powering a few lights and the TV. Over the loud hum of the generator, we attempted to watch and hear what was happening on the moon. As soon as the landing was over, we returned to our “simulated tactical training exercise” for the next two days.
Years later, I was able to see and hear the landing much better, but I will always remember where I was when it was actually broadcast.
Thank you for allowing me to relive this memory.