by David Tanis
Southwestern Oklahoma is an arid land of rolling hills, scrub brush, and grasses, quite different from the topography of suburban Northern New Jersey that I had been used to. Instead of crowded homes, packed close together, with all sorts of lush vegetation, from the omnipresent Norway maples, to fancy lawn shrubs crowding each inch of property, the sparse grasses and bushes of the desert-like landscape provide grazing lands as well as cover for the antelope, bison, long horn cattle, and mule deer which proliferate. For me, Oklahoma was like a new world as I reported in to the replacement company that December in 1963, a couple of weeks early, before my Artillery Officer Candidate School Course at Fort Sill was scheduled to begin. Unassigned, after the mandatory roll call I wandered about like a lost child.