- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I was drafted during the Korean War. After basic training at Camp Chaffee in Arkansas, I was sent to 12-week Morse-code training - 10 hours a day, six days a week. During the 11th week, the sergeant came into the room, pointed at me and gave me the “come here” sign.

“You’re outta here,” he said.

“But, Sarge,” I protested, “I’m almost finished. I’m a cat’s whisker away from the [military occupational specialty]. You can’t do this to me.”

His classic reply: “Watch me.”

All of my classmates were shipped off to Korea, and I became an assignment clerk. That’s what the Army needed, and that’s what it got.

They only thing you need to know if you ever get drafted is how to say “Yes, sir.” Those are the magic words, the only words.

You will get many tales of daring and photographs of brave men in combat gear, but in honor of the millions of men who have ever been drafted but have done nothing more heroic than say “Yes, sir” to anything and everything, I submit this story of Pvt. Brad Johnston, US-55472352. Just a guy sitting in a barracks somewhere between here and the ends of the earth, ready to do whatever his country wants him to do.

BRAD JOHNSTON

Culpeper, Va.

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