The Sept. 12 story regarding obstacles faced by black soldiers brought back my memories of the segregation of the black soldiers in World War II.
I became a soldier on Jan. 23, 1943, and started my training to be a military policeman at Fort Custer, Mich. One Saturday night after a movie we were heading back to our barracks after a snow storm when a tall second lieutenant came walking toward us. He was a black officer. I saluted him as I was trained to do. So did one of my walking partners. Others did not.
The lieutenant ordered all of us to face him and stop. He then took off his overcoat, then his uniform jacket. He walked over to a fence, took his jacket and hung it on the fence and said, "Now salute this jacket. ...you salute the bars on the jacket, not the one who wears them.” We all saluted the jacket and he smiled, thanked us and walked away. I never forgot that.
The black soldier in World War II always had the worst part of the war. In Europe he drove the trucks or dug dirt. According to your story, obtaining an Army career for a black soldier is still an obstacle .