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Interview with Chris A. Adams [5/15/2010]

Cheryl Bruno:

Good afternoon. Today is Saturday, May 15, 2010. My name is Cheryl Bruno. I am conducting an oral history interview at Clark State Greene Center in Beavercreek. And your name, sir.

Chris A. Adams:

My name is Chris Adams.

Cheryl Bruno:

Nice to meet you, Chris.

Chris A. Adams:

Nice to meet you.

Cheryl Bruno:

Were you drafted, or did you enlist?

Chris A. Adams:

I enlisted.

Cheryl Bruno:

Where were you living at the time?

Chris A. Adams:

Springfield, Ohio.

Cheryl Bruno:

You're from Springfield?

Chris A. Adams:

I am.

Cheryl Bruno:

Why did you join?

Chris A. Adams:

Actually, it was in the -- pretty much in the height of the Vietnam War; and I had choices of either being drafted or enlisting. I already knew how to shoot a gun. So I figured I'd enlist and learn something a little more than, you know, so I enlisted in the United States Air Force.

Cheryl Bruno:

So the branch was the U.S. Air Force.

Chris A. Adams:

Yes.

Cheryl Bruno:

What did it feel like, boot camp, do you remember those first few days?

Chris A. Adams:

You know, it was, of course -- we were, I'm sure all of us were a little apprehensive 'cause it was brand new. And we'd all heard, you know, horror stories and stuff. But it really -- it really wasn't bad. Anybody who's played football or done any sports and they had summer practices and different things like that, it wasn't -- it really wasn't bad. But, you know, the fear of the unknown is probably the biggest fear that we -- we all had.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. You said you already knew how to shoot. Were you a hunter?

Chris A. Adams:

Not necessarily. I did do some hunting and stuff; and I say that probably half in jest, more in earnest, you know, or half in jest, half in earnest that, I really did -- I, you know, I knew how to shoot a gun. I figured if I were a draftee, I would probably be a foot soldier and you know.

Cheryl Bruno:

What kind of gun did you have in Vietnam?

Chris A. Adams:

You know, actually I was in the Air Force,so...

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay.

Chris A. Adams:

We really weren't gun toters. We had to learn how to shoot the M16, but --

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you win any medals?

Chris A. Adams:

Just the marksmanship.

Cheryl Bruno:

Marksmanship.

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah, yeah.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. Do you remember your instructors? Were they hard on you?

Chris A. Adams:

You know, we might have thought they were at the time; but when I look back at it, I don't think they were -- they were hard. I think they were really trying to prepare us for the next four years of our life, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

Absolutely. Do you remember exactly where you went in Vietnam?

Chris A. Adams:

Sorry?

Cheryl Bruno:

The name of the place?

Chris A. Adams:

You know, I wasn't -- I wasn't in Vietnam. Again, I was in the Air Force; so my bases were in Ching Chuan Kang, Taiwan, and Utapao, Thailand; and I was what they called "direct support of the war." One of my jobs was I would fly on airplanes that we couldn't simulate their problems on the ground, then we would fly on them to find out what they were doing. So when we would come back, we could fix them when we got on the ground. So my Vietnam experience was flying over Vietnam, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay.

Chris A. Adams:

They still give you the hazardous duty pay and -- and all that stuff for that; so I'm -- I'm still a Vietnam vet.

Cheryl Bruno:

What's a memorable event?

Chris A. Adams:

Oh, I'd have to think about that one. Maybe we'll come back to that one, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

Can you tell me how you got medals or citations?

Chris A. Adams:

Good Conduct. At that time, probably, anybody who had served honorably for at least three years got a Good Conduct. We were, our unit was in the Field Maintenance Squadron, which is heavy equipment on big planes, aircraft, B-52s and KC-135s. We did -- a couple of times we did really exemplary in the field overseas; so we got Presidential Unit Citation twice. I am trying to think of, of course, everybody who was in during that time who was a Vietnam vet got the Vietnam Service and Vietnam Campaign Medal, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. How did you stay in touch with your family, or were you able to stay in touch with your family?

Chris A. Adams:

Of course, a lot of letter writing. I had a twin brother who was in during the same time period that I was in. And he was in Vietnam as a Marine, and I was in Thailand and Taiwan was in the Air Force; and we used to write back and forth all the time. And one of the things I think that was kind of a funny memory -- he was really in the thick of things a lot; he was pretty far up north -- and he would write me letters and tell me, you know, they'd been two weeks in the mud; and it rained every day; and, you know, and then pinned down and just really some pretty tough times. And I would -- of course everybody thinks the Air Force is -- or a lot people think the Air Force is kind of a country club; and I would write him back and say, yeah, man, it really sounds bad. I hate to hear that, but we didn't have it easy over here either. We had an electrical storm and lost all the power in our barracks; and the refrigerators wouldn't work, so our beer was cold -- was warm, you know; and we lost our air conditioning; and there's a crack in the swimming pool; so they had to empty the pool; and on top of all that, our houseboy quit, you know. So, you know, just to kind of lift his spirits a little bit there.

Cheryl Bruno:

Exactly. So you were keeping your morale up and his morale up too.

Chris A. Adams:

Probably more for his, I mean, you know, he was in a tougher place than I was for sure.

Cheryl Bruno:

Do you have any photographs? Did you bring any back?

Chris A. Adams:

I did. I have a lot of photographs at home, but I didn't bring anything with me today.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. Okay. Were there any casualties in your unit?

Chris A. Adams:

Not -- not with the Air Force.

Cheryl Bruno:

Not with the Air Force.

Chris A. Adams:

I mean, not that I know of.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay.

Chris A. Adams:

The whole time we were over there, we may have lost one B-52; and it wasn't due to enemy fire or anything like that; so, pretty much, the planes that we worked on were flying too high for them to shoot down things.

Cheryl Bruno:

Yeah. So you didn't see combat?

Chris A. Adams:

Just watched them drop bombs on Vietnam was the only combat that we saw. I saw a fight in the chow hall one time.

Cheryl Bruno:

Excuse me.

Chris A. Adams:

I saw a fight in the chow hall one time.

Cheryl Bruno:

So you weren't ever captive?

Chris A. Adams:

No.

Cheryl Bruno:

That's good. Did you know anyone that was?

Chris A. Adams:

No. I -- I -- not in Vietnam, no.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay.

Chris A. Adams:

We --

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you serve in another?

Chris A. Adams:

No, no, no, no.

Cheryl Bruno:

No?

Chris A. Adams:

No. Just Vietnam was enough.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. What was the food like?

Chris A. Adams:

Again, I was in the Air Force. Our food was great, you know, it really was. We had -- we had really good food.

Cheryl Bruno:

Good for you.

Chris A. Adams:

The other branches of the service, when they would come around, they would want to come to our chow halls because our food was good, you know. Marines ate K rations and C rations and stuff; and they just, you know, they weren't real good; but our food was great. We had hot meals, you know. We didn't have to go through any of that kind of stuff. We had hot meals all the time.

Cheryl Bruno:

Was there anything you did for good luck?

Chris A. Adams:

Oh, you know, I think -- I don't know about good luck. But I think that being away from home and stuff, I think maybe you look for spiritual guidance and stuff a little bit more than you would normally when you are home and stuff. So that's not a "luck" thing; that's something I think that maybe you're brought up with, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

So you went in with faith and kept that faith while you were there. That helped you get through it?

Chris A. Adams:

I'm sure -- I'm sure it did. You know, when things that maybe we thought were a little hard times and stuff like that, sure, you pray for that.

Cheryl Bruno:

What did your parents think about both of their sons being in the service?

Chris A. Adams:

You know, now, that's a real interesting thing. Again, since I have a twin brother, I went in, in 1968 and got out in 1972. My father died in '68 while I was in Thailand, so they brought me home -- my brother -- because my father died. My brother went in, in 1969. He should have never had to go. And had he went in the service, he should have never had to go into Vietnam into the war time because he would be the sole surviving son at that point; and since I was in a war atmosphere, he should have never had to have been in there. Probably knowing that, he still would have went in anyway. I think that, at that point, even though that was during the time when war was not a real popular thing, we both felt that, you know, it was our duty to go in the service. So he went anyway, even though he didn't have to.

Cheryl Bruno:

He didn't have to but he went.

Chris A. Adams:

Probably had he even mentioned a protest of it, he probably wouldn't have had to go; but he didn't say a word about it.

Cheryl Bruno:

Shows good character on his part. You said you have some photographs. Who are the people in the photographs?

Chris A. Adams:

Just -- just friends and -- and people I met. I was very lucky in the places I went. I was able to go off base; and it wasn't like we were going to be harmed; and so I got to meet the native people in Thailand and Taiwan and got to go around with, you know, to real Thai restaurants in real Thailand, which was still Thai restaurants and just get to know the culture of the people. So I've got a lot of pictures of those -- a lot of friends, buddies when I was in the service, you know, that I worked with, got pictures of them, a lot of pictures of the scenery that a lot of people don't get to see, you know.

Cheryl Bruno:

What organizations do you belong to? I see Post 1031, VFW.

Chris A. Adams:

This is VFW. VFW is the Veterans of Foreign Wars. You had to have served in a foreign war to belong. So I am a passed commander; my brother's a passed commander, 11 years after I was commander, as a matter of fact. I tell him about that all of the time. We are also both Cooties, which is the honor degree of the VFW. That started back in POW times back in World War II where the Cooties motto is "closer than a brother." The similarity all Cooties had was that they all had lice, and that's why they named them Cooties. Cooties are called lice, and they all had lice; and so, therefore, that became the honor degree. And our organization is called the Cooties, much like the Masons, I think, have Shriners and the K of P have doagies (ph.), we have Cooties, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

So you keep in touch with the people you were in the service with?

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah, to a degree. And that's another thing. The Air Force doesn't have reunions as much as --

Cheryl Bruno:

The Marines?

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah. The Marines. As a matter of fact, I have gone to some of my brother's reunions. And they really are -- I mean they were -- they're just a group. Marines always stay, you know, stay together; and they always have reunions and stuff; but we don't do it.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. So you are happy you went? You are satisfied with your service?

Chris A. Adams:

Sure, sure.

Cheryl Bruno:

We thank you for that.

Chris A. Adams:

Sure. Thank you. I tell my brother all the time -- and I'm sure he's saying this in his interview as well. I tell him -- and -- as well as the other Marines -- I said, you know, the only thing in my life I ever really wanted that I was never able to attain is I wanted to be in the Marines; and they found out my IQ was a little too high; so they wouldn't take me. And I tease him about that because, you know, the Marines are the first in, you know, and a lot of times the last out. So it's a lot of fun to tease; and they all take that as a joke because they are also a group of individuals who believe that everybody who served is -- that they are all the same, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

What did you do when you came home, what sort of career did you go into?

Chris A. Adams:

Well, you know, my first job, my first real job, I was a -- I started driving a beer truck, which was kind of neat; and I worked my way up. And I became a general sales manager of a beer distributorship in Springfield. And it got to be a little bit too much like New Year's Eve every night, so I decided I should go to a different career on that. So I started working for -- at that point it was called the welfare department, became the human service department; and now it's called the job and family services department -- and became a director with children's services, adult protective services, and all the giveaway programs, and finished my career up in Carroll County in northeast Ohio as director.

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you use the GI Bill?

Chris A. Adams:

I'm sorry?

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you use the GI Bill for any education?

Chris A. Adams:

I did, I did. And I went to a great university called Clark State in Springfield, Ohio. I didn't graduate. I have -- I've got probably a lot of years, probably two and a half years but not enough to really put it together toward any type of degree; but I learned an awful lot. And I really believe that. I say this not because you guys are from Clark State, but it was a great institution at that point. It was pretty young at that point. But that's my college education. It was enough to get me a really good job with human services too, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

Did your military experience effect how you feel about war?

Chris A. Adams:

No. I think probably then I -- I -- I felt that it was something that we were in; and I should be a part of it because of, you know, everything this country does for all of us. And now I still think it's probably a necessary evil. A lot of people don't believe we should be where we are today in the Middle East, and, you know, there is a lot of talk about weapons of mass destruction. Whether they were there or not, I mean, we were really upset with the Germans and the genocide that they did with the Jewish people; and Saddam Hussein did the same type of thing with his people. I think that we probably need to be there. I am not sure it's a war that we can -- that we can win because people have been fighting since way before Jesus; and they are probably going to be fighting way after we are all gone from this Earth.

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you keep any kind of a diary, a personal diary? Did you write about your experiences?

Chris A. Adams:

No. Other than letters I wrote home that maybe I was able to get when I came back, but no.

Cheryl Bruno:

You kept the letters?

Chris A. Adams:

No. If someone gave them to me, you know.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. Did it effect your life in a good way or a bad way?

Chris A. Adams:

I think it was an honorable thing to do. I think that -- it's my opinion that everybody -- men, women, and children should all have to go in the service for at least two years. I just, I think it helped me grow up a lot. It was a good -- it was a good experience, a great experience for me, I think. And I spent four years, and I do not regret a day of it.

Cheryl Bruno:

Are you a family man?

Chris A. Adams:

I am, I am. I had a couple families along the way, but I still am a family man.

Cheryl Bruno:

So do you have any sons or daughters in the service?

Chris A. Adams:

I do -- I do have a son who does not want to go in the service. I have a daughter, who, you know, if she were -- if the draft were still in, she'd probably be one of the first people to go. And that's just a difference, you know, two people raised in the same situation there could be totally different.

Cheryl Bruno:

What advice would you give someone going into the military today?

Chris A. Adams:

I think it's -- I would say that, two things -- one thing my father told me and I found was as true as anything he ever told me was, "Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth closed." And that, "You go in and try to learn everything you can. If you are offered a chance to go to a school, go to that school. Do everything you can and learn." And, I think, they have done real well with our services. They really -- they know how to teach people, I think. And they do a pretty good job.

Cheryl Bruno:

Is there anything you want to tell us about, anything I didn't cover?

Chris A. Adams:

No. I think it was pretty thorough. You got any other questions for me?

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. What did you think of your officers or your fellow soldiers while you were there?

Chris A. Adams:

I thought, for the most part, they were an awfully lot like me. You know, I -- I -- you -- you have people from -- when I went, I am this little 'roo from Springfield, Ohio; and I'm in the service with -- with kids from New York City and Los Angeles, California. And I found out that there's -- we're all similar in so many ways, no matter where we come from. So I think that was an educational opportunity for me to get out and meet those people, met some really good people and went home with a lot of them to their homes. The officers, my first base -- when I was first -- I'm from Springfield. I went to Chanute -- Rantoul, Illinois, Chanute Air Force Base, which is four hours from Springfield, maybe; so I could come home every weekend. What a great deal when I was in technical school. I get my orders; and I am assigned to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, which is 17 minutes from where I grew up. My mother and father both retired from Wright Patterson and at that time were still working there. And I just thought that was the greatest thing in the world. I could ride to work with them in the morning and could ride home with them. Two weeks later, I'm still -- I'm still in the Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois; and they redlined my orders and sent me to Westover, Massachussets, which is 12 hours away. So it wasn't like I was going to be coming home every weekend. And it was kind of fun; but getting back to your question, Westover Air Force Base Massachusetts was home of Eighth Air Force Headquarters. So they probably had three officers to every enlisted man up there. So, you know, you couldn't walk to the post office without wearing your arm out saluting every three steps or something like that; but I think the officers were fair. They weren't pushy or anything; and, in my opinion, the Air Force, even during that time period, it was pretty much like a civilian job.

Cheryl Bruno:

So did you have any stress? Did you -- what made you feel stress?

Chris A. Adams:

Well, you know, there's a lot of stress. I mean, if you've got a job on an aircraft that you know is going to take you five hours and the plane has to fly in three, that's -- that's a lot of stress trying to get that plane ready to go. But, I mean, it wasn't like someone was shooting at you; so I didn't have that kind of stress.

Cheryl Bruno:

What did you do for entertainment, or was there entertainment?

Chris A. Adams:

There was lots of entertainment but basically the same thing everybody did. I've already talked about going out to dinner and meeting a lot of the native people, which was tremendous entertainment; but other than that, there was lots of airmen and NCO clubs; and we did a lot of that, a lot of liquid entertainment.

Cheryl Bruno:

So that's what you did when you were on leave, or did you get a leave? Was there an R and R?

Chris A. Adams:

We had R and R. I went -- I was down in the southern part of -- the only R and R I had, as a matter of fact, was, I was in the southern part of Taiwan, which is, we called it, now it's called Republic of China. It's an island that broke away from China way back; but -- so I took a -- I think I had a three- or four-day R and R. And we went to Taipei, which is in the northern part of Taiwan, which was kind of fun, got to, you know, see a big city like that; but, again, we were able to go off base almost every night. So we had time to do a lot of things.

Cheryl Bruno:

Have you ever gone back to visit? Or would you like to go back and visit somewhere that you flew over?

Chris A. Adams:

Sure. I would love to go back to Thailand and Taiwan. And some day I might just do that; but I am sure it will be completely different than what it was then. And the people I knew are probably no longer around. I'm sure, like it is everywhere, it is grown up so different; but it would be kind of fun to go back and see how its changed.

Cheryl Bruno:

Well, it sounds like a good memory, then.

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah, it was.

Cheryl Bruno:

Your R and R trip.

Chris A. Adams:

Not that, well, the whole thing, the whole thing, the whole experience. Four years was a good memory.

Cheryl Bruno:

That's good.

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah.

Cheryl Bruno:

Where do you live now?

Chris A. Adams:

I live in London, Ohio. There is a little lake over there called Lake Choctaw. I live on the lake.

Cheryl Bruno:

When you were in the Air Force, were there plenty of supplies; or were you ever short of anything or waiting for anything?

Chris A. Adams:

Oh, probably parts that we couldn't get. If we had to ground a plane because it couldn't fly because we needed a part, we probably either took it off of another plane and put it on the plane that had to fly; or we would just wait for it and ground it but nothing really bad. We had plenty of planes and lots of bombs. We never had a problem with finding a plane to drop bombs.

Cheryl Bruno:

Do you remember anything unusual ever happening, just something surprised you?

Chris A. Adams:

No. It's pretty mundane, wasn't bad at all.

Cheryl Bruno:

Anything humorous in particular?

Chris A. Adams:

Oh, there's lots of things humorous but probably don't want to go into a lot of those right now. So a lot of pranks. Of course, you get a bunch of guys all put together; and there's always pranks and stuff that you're pulling on each other.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. When did your service end?

Chris A. Adams:

Actually, I got an early out, what they call it when you get out before the time. I was supposed to be in for four years; and the day I was supposed to get out came on a -- I think a Saturday. I'm sorry. It came on a Sunday, so they let me out on the Friday before; so I served all but two days of four years. That was in February of 1972.

Cheryl Bruno:

Where were you?

Chris A. Adams:

I -- I was at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

Cheryl Bruno:

You were in Massachusetts when you were told you were let go?

Chris A. Adams:

Well, I knew. I mean, everybody knows their discharge date, everybody knows. They have a -- in the Air Force, we would take a -- and this is kind of silly, but everybody did it. To let everybody know you were a short-timer or about to get out, I think, if you had like three months left in the service, there was a little black and yellow ribbon on the bottle of a VO bottle, on the neck of a VO bottle; and you would wear that on your collar to let everybody know you were a short-timer.

Cheryl Bruno:

Do you remember what you did the first day you were finally out? Do you remember what you did?

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah. I packed up all my stuff. I was living off base, and I was able to live off base. I was an NCO at the time. So I packed my stuff and got in the car in February and drove back to Ohio. And I was pulling a trailer. We ran into the worst snowstorm in the mountains in Pennsylvania and that trailer sliding all over the road and just drove home, you know. It wasn't -- you know, it was a -- it was more like I was leaving a job and going on to further my career somewhere and had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do. But I just knew I was going to do it back in Springfield. And I really liked Massachusetts, you know, I could have stayed there; but I was married, so...

Cheryl Bruno:

You were married at that time?

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah. She didn't want to stay in Massachusetts. And her parents lived in Georgia, and I didn't want to go to Georgia; so we split the difference and went to Ohio.

Cheryl Bruno:

Okay. Did you continue any of the relationships that you had in the -- in your service? Do you still see other servicemen that served with you?

Chris A. Adams:

Not that served with me. You know, that's another funny story that, when I was in Taiwan, there was this guy's name that had almost every letter of the alphabet; and his name was Bevano (ph). And he was a French Canadian or French -- what do they call them -- Cajun -- from down in New Orleans, Louisiana. And he was my shop chief, and we would work together and stuff; and we got along pretty decent. And so I came back, and I joined the VFW in Springfield. And there was this guy that had the same name. Well, it was his brother. And they were both in the Air Force. I didn't meet the guy -- didn't meet the guy who was the commander of the VFW; but it was his brother that I served with when I was in Taiwan, which, it's a small world, you know, you realize how small the world is.

Cheryl Bruno:

When is the last time you were on a plane?

Chris A. Adams:

I fly all the time. As a matter of fact, since I retired in 2001, I worked for two different airlines; so I could fly. So I absolutely -- it's the only way to get around.

Cheryl Bruno:

Still something you love and do?

Chris A. Adams:

I do. As a matter of fact, I even took some flying lessons. I was thinking about getting a license, a pilot's license, and never followed through with it; but I got to fly a plane a couple of times.

Cheryl Bruno:

But it's something you may do?

Chris A. Adams:

Who knows.

Cheryl Bruno:

You may yet do it.

Chris A. Adams:

Who knows.

Cheryl Bruno:

That's great. Is there any place that you liked more than others, any one job or any one mission that you are -- nothing stands out as, that was a rough one?

Chris A. Adams:

You know, during the time that I was overseas, we had a lot of time where we would work seven days a week, 12 hours a day with no time off; and, then, there were other times when everything was really calm. We weren't flying as many missions, where you only maybe work three, eight-hour -- four, eight-hour days and have three days off. So you always look at that. The more free time you have, you know, it's like any job, you know, if you get -- get the same pay and have to work less hours, that's kind of a deal, you know? So those were memorable times. I really, really got to like New England and the people in New England. I thought it was a great place to live, great place to go. Probably had more, I don't know how it happens because back then we weren't paid a whole lot; but I probably had more spendable income during that time than I did at any other time in my life. And so then that was kind of fun. I kind of enjoyed that and just had a lot of friends that we would do a lot of things. We all had motorcycles, and so we'd go ride or go hunting or hang out together. We had a lot of comradery with the people I worked with in Massachusetts.

Cheryl Bruno:

You weren't wounded? You didn't see combat?

Chris A. Adams:

Never even saw anybody shoot.

Cheryl Bruno:

Do you have any -- there's no health issues from back then?

Chris A. Adams:

No. I mean, I hurt my back when I was in the service. We tried to, we didn't do things necessarily the way we were supposed to and, you know, trying to be punctual and trying to get things done expediently, we would take shortcuts; and so I hurt my back. It's funny, with the VA, I went to the VA because my back has hurt every day since that; and they said, well, you didn't have any problems when you left. Well, no, they probably took care of it then; but as you age, things have a tendency to come back. And I also worked around jet engines all the time. And a lot times you didn't put on your hearing protectors. We called them Mickey Mouse ears. They were big cones that went over your ears; and, again, for expediency or to hear what other people are saying and when you are trying to do something. So I've lost hearing a lot, you know. Of course, they said, "Well, you didn't have that when you got out." Well, again, as you get older, those things happen -- it's it's something that happens with the types of jobs you have. So I went to the VA, and they said they couldn't do anything for me because I didn't show anything when I was 22 years old when I got out. Now that I'm 61, you know, those things are all coming back to haunt me. But also I was really surprised because I'm a veteran -- I am a veteran of foreign wars, I can't get VA benefits because my income was too high. And I figured, hmm, I don't know whether that has anything to do with why you can't get some sort of help from the VA because of, you know, your income; but I guess you just take that and go along with it and do the best you can.

Cheryl Bruno:

So what did you wear?

Chris A. Adams:

Please?

Cheryl Bruno:

What was your uniform?

Chris A. Adams:

My uniform was, when I first got in, it was just like green fatigues because we're on the flight line all the time. And that's our work uniform. When we -- when we went overseas, we got camouflage fatigues, which was kind of cool because, you know, Air Force guys don't usually get camouflage fatigues; but we got to wear them over there; so when we came back we got to wear them as well, so it was kind of fun.

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you keep any of that stuff?

Chris A. Adams:

Oh, yeah. But I'm sure I couldn't get into it now. I mean, I don't have it anymore; but yeah.

Cheryl Bruno:

What did you wear for protection? You said you didn't wear the ear plugs.

Chris A. Adams:

No. As a matter of fact -- and it wasn't necessarily ear plugs. They were -- and I think you've seen them. It's like these things that go over your head. They kind of look like ear phones, the old ear phones that you wear over your head; and they were big. And they were just there to prevent you from, you know, to help you from getting your hearing loss and stuff. But, you know, sometimes you just would run out and do a job and stuff while the engines are running so the plane can take off; and it's the last thing you think about, you know.

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you have any kind of medical training? Did they prepare you in case someone got hurt?

Chris A. Adams:

Everybody, during basic training, has to take basic first aid and stuff; so that's part of the stuff that you are graded on before you get out. But I didn't ever have to use it, you know.

Cheryl Bruno:

That's fortunate.

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah. Well, we didn't -- we weren't in a real hazardous situation; so we didn't have to worry about that.

Cheryl Bruno:

Did you ever have to use the gas mask or just know how to use one?

Chris A. Adams:

Just in --just in basic training.

Cheryl Bruno:

Just in basic training.

Chris A. Adams:

Yeah. You know, which was, what we had to go through wasn't really tough compared to what the other branches had to go through.

Cheryl Bruno:

How long was basic training?

Chris A. Adams:

I think six weeks.

Cheryl Bruno:

Where was basic training?

Chris A. Adams:

I was one of the last classes to go through, I got to think of it -- Amarillo -- Amarillo Air Force Base in the Panhandle of northern Texas. Now everybody goes through Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Cheryl Bruno:

What do you think when you hear about things on the news about the war?

Chris A. Adams:

Well, I'm a -- I'm a real believer that the news pretty much reports sensationalized things; that we're -- we're only hearing the bad parts. You don't hear anything, no matter whether it's domestic or foreign that's good. There's no happy news because happy news doesn't sell newsprint and doesn't make you watch TV at night, so they are only telling you the bad stuff or perceived bad stuff. That's the way they report it, so I don't really pay a whole lot of attention to it.

Cheryl Bruno:

Anything else you want to add? Anything you want to tell us about your service, what happened?

Chris A. Adams:

No. It was a good four years. I am glad I did. I would advise my children or anybody's children to do that. They'll learn a lot.

Cheryl Bruno:

I thank you.

 
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  October 26, 2011
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