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November 22, 2007

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Thoughts on Thanksgiving

I reported to the Army for active duty on November 19, 1963. In those days it was customary for new trainees to spend three days at a reception center where we were given tests and shots, issued our uniforms, and threatened with barbed-wire city if we screwed up. Part of the issue was our dress greens, or Class A uniform, and the Army took a surprising amount of care with these, tailoring them to fit, and then delivering them to our basic training companies where they would catch up with us.

We arrived at November Company, 4th Tng Rgt, Ft. Dix, New Jersey, on November 22, 1963, at just about the time that news of John Kennedy's assassination was beginning to spread. The United States of America, and the U.S. Army, simply shut down for a while. We were left in our barracks to spit-shine boots and polish the lacquer off brass belt buckles. And for some inconceivable reason, during that time, my Class A uniform arrived. No one elses', just mine.

Thanksgiving came, and the Fourth Regiment mess hall served a turkey dinner, but to get in the mess hall, you had to show up in a Class A uniform. No fatigues on Thanksgiving, men. Well, what the hell. I put on my new green suit, went to the mess hall, and ate myself stupid. The rest of November Company ate candy bars at the PX.

And to all of you, I hope that your Class A uniforms, in whatever form, show up in time for this Thanksgiving.


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Happy Thanksgiving to all.


Mr. Petzal,

I spent a Thanksgiving in Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, SC. Thanks for helping me recall the fun memories, and thanks for your great writing as well. I hope all of our soldiers in uniform have a safe Thanksgiving.

Dave in St Pete

Nov 73 I too was at Ft Dix basic for Thanksgiving. We had been in basic for about two months at that time and quite a few guys were having their parents show up for the day so I volunteered (Ya I know!) for KP.

I think the tradition of having the Officers serve the Enlisted on Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great one and I hope it continues.


I was fortunate to be out of basic prior to the holiday but I remember Thanksgiving 1970 as we wre flying like crazy. It seemed like wewere either landing Phantons or launching Intruders the whole day. What was strange was that we little people never found out what the big fuss was all about.
Also, the date Nov. 22, 1963 is burned into my brain like no other except for September 11, 2001.
In spite of all that HAPPY THANSGIVING!


Was a senior in High School 11/22/63 and remember it well. What sticks in my mind was they cancelled our basketball game that nite. Was home on 30 days leave Thanksgiving of 69, getting ready to ship out for Nam. Remember my mom crying at the dinner table. Spent two Christmases (sp?) in Nam and lost a cousin in the Marines while I was there. Right now I'm on a suicide watch. 34 out-of-town members of my wife's family are here for Thanksgiving. Thinking seriously about jumping off the roof, but I can't remember which neighbor borrowed the ladder. OK, YooperJack, where are you in the UP? My dad was born and reared in Bessemer, small town just East of Ironwood on US 2. As a kid, spent two weeks every summer there and loved every minute of it. Fished for brook trout on the Black River and even caught a few. Uncle had a summer cabin on Lake Gogebic. Remember it snowed on the 4th of July one year. Damn cold wind coming off Lake Superior. At dinner tonite we'll say a prayer for all the members of our Armed Forces and hope they stay out of harms way till it's time to come home. We should all be thankful for their service to our country. I know I am.


Only in the army will one recruit go eat a turkey dinner while the rest of his platoon sits in the brks and eats cady bars!

Dave in St Pete

I was kinda thinking along the same lines, Jeff but remember, they had not started training yet so there was no time to 'bond'.


Just looking over this blog and the thought happened to cross my mind that my wife wants to go deer hunting with me, but my 30-06 is "just too loud" and kicks like a mule(her words, not mine). Anyone out there have a recomendation for a good make/caliber that isn't "too loud" and won't "kick like a mule"? Thanks, and hope you all remembered to give thanks on thanksgiving!


I was in Latin class when word of JFK’s shooting got out.

I also recall many Thanksgiving’s away from home where I was wondering what-am-I-doing-here…like one Thanksgiving spent mid-USAF Officer Cadet School, and better moments where I was hunting elk in the mountains of Montana prior to dinner.

Best Thanksgiving’s were while in college. Thanksgiving was God’s gift. It was the first real meal in weeks and there were left-overs. The big meal and the left-over booty helped a student see finals and the semester’s end.


Thanksgiving 1978 found me on Parris Island SC. Having gone to boot camp a skinny runt I was on double rations all meals, that included Thanksgiving. Two turkey, ham, lobster!!!, and all the trimmings dinners followed by an 'easy' 3 mile route-step. Oh well, I gained 10 pounds in boot camp! Mom had a second Thanksgiving dinner for me when I got home on Boot Leave a couple weeks later.
And people wonder what I have against turkey!!!
Happy Thanksgiving all!



Start somewhere in the .244 caliber and work yourself up. Stay away from anything that ends in Magnum. Some really neat calibers for women have "mm" at the end of the number, mostly 6's and 7's.
Here's a few calibers that might just work:
.257 Roberts
.243 Winchester
7mm X 57 Mauser
6mm Remington
.30-30 Winchester
My wife is petit and shoots a .270 Win, but it's in a Ruger No. 1 STD and has been cut to fit with a triple line recoil pad added.
Some men don't understand, but watch where the recoil pad touches her breast. One hundred grit sand paper can dish the pad a bit until it is more comfortable to shoot. (for her!)
You don't want her toting a boat anchor all day, but you want a rifle with a bit of heft to help absorb recoil. If you scope it, (and you should as most women have trouble understanding the iron sight thing) select a few scope models that you like and allow her to pick from these choices and remember, fixed power, duplex reticle. Try and keep the action simple. Single shots work really well, even the break-overs.
Oh yeah, be sure to have her check for her master eye!

Wanted to do the military thing as a young man. Fall of 1969 my lottery number was three twenty something. It was my first semester at college and I met lots of guys that had been to "the 'Nam", as they called it. Most suggested that if Uncle Sam didn't ask, DON'T offer. By the time Nam was over, I was already settled into a life style that I really didn't want to change just to experience "military", so, never went. Think I missed a whole lot that would have probably changed me dramatically! And not all for the worse!

Happiest of Thanksgiving's to All



We've hashed and rehashed the subject of deer rifles with more managable recoil and noise on these blogs but here goes the Cliff Notes version:
.243 Winchester or .25-06 seem odds on favorites with many, Dave Petzal's 6.5 x 55 Swede is lower on bang and recoil, .30-30 Winchester is another good choice for close in shots, .257 Roberts gets a lot of mentions here too.
Another way you might go would be to look for some of the 'Managed Recoil' cartridges for your '06 they may also be a bit easier on the ears.
Hope this helps!



P.S. - Don't forget muffs or ear plugs!! My wife prefers the Silencio Ear Valves if you can locate them. Believe it or not, the VERY best in hearing protection is the little el cheapo, yellow roll ups. Just make sure she knows how to use them PROPERLY.
The Silencio valves allow normal sounds to enter the ear but block the loud sounds.

Good luck, hope I helped. Nothing better than spending a fruitful day in the woods with the madame!



Bubba - thanks for the info! She's ex-army and knows how to shoot without a scope. She got her "Expert Marksman" designation with just about everything they would let her shoot. To this day, I've never really made that little lady mad thank goodness! She as good, if not better, shot with my old .22. Just kills the heck out of tree rats and the like! The gentleman I hunt with said either a 25-06 or a .243. Would you think either would be a good choice, or one better than the other? Where I, soon to be we, hunt - about the longest shot would be inside the 175 yd. marker and heavily wooded. Her dad has a 30-30, and I'm sure she's shot it. It would be nice if there was a place we could go where she could shoot several different ones just to try them on for size. Thank you again Bubba, and hope you've had a great Thanksgiving!


Thanks to SA too!


BTW - what's managed recoil mean? Less kick and noise? How's that going to effect accuracy? any thoughts or experiences?

coach ike

someone please settle a debate that my brother and i have been having for quite sometime. when is a rifle most accurate? when the barrel itself is clean or after having several shots put through it? with that said should the rifle be left in that condition prior to a hunt clean or dirty to a degree? hope everyone had a good holiday!

Brian T

Dear Flip
My best for Thanksgiving for you and yours. I have no family any more. Keep your head held high for the road truly does go on forever.
Keep your eyes on the horizon.


I lived in Ironwood a couple of years in the 70's. Was just starting the family so I didn't do much hunting and fishing. Now I live in the Central U.P. but travel through the entire. I remember the 4th of July snowstorm.
Biggest regrets are that I never fished Lake Gogebic, the streams in the area or hunted deer up there. I remember driving around Watersmeet one time between 10 and 20 MPH on a state highway because of all the deer. I remember that two days later there were six separate Bald Eagles eating the carcasses.

I'm really tickled pink at how this group really supports our troops! Everyone mentions praying for them and doing what they can for them. Probably why Thanksgiving is a holiday unique to America. We sure have a lot to be thankful for. Number one is our young men and women in uniform!

Gerald Keller

Coach Ike,Only you can settle that debate,as every rifle has it's own peculiarities.Some will shoot one hole groups from the start with a clean barrel,some need to get a little dirty before they start to shine.Go to the range with plenty of ammo and your cleaning gear and find out what your rifle likes best,then keep it that way for the hunt.If it likes it a little fouled,leave it that way till the season is over,unless you can shoot it a few times before every trip to the woods.Keep the outside wiped down and don't neglect under the stock,and you'll have a friend for life.



If you're a hand loader, managed recoil is basically a .30-06 "reduced" load.

If she's military, look into the .308 Win. With shots possible to 175 yds, I think I would look more to the 7 Mauser (7X57) or the .257 Roberts. The .30-30 is a nice round but gets a bit shaky out at that range. The 7X57 or the .257 Rbts? Put the + where you want the bullet! If she's really good with a rifle, and keeps her cool when "bucky" steps out, maybe a .243 Win or 6mm Rem.
These two will definitly take the steam out of any big ol' hairy buck, but bullet placement (accuracy) becomes much more critical. If you select anything in the .244 caliber, use a bullet weight of at least 100 grains on deer! Anything less has a tendency to blow up without penetrating causing crater type wounds and lost deer!
Most of all! Practice, Practice, Practice!!!



Dave, I've always thought you were a Leatherneck...

retired waycar rider

Midnight Banjo---my wife is now 72 yrs young--she's been my deer hunting buddy for 35 yrs---she started out with a Remington 600 in 243 and now shoots a Remington model 7 in 260 Rem--guess it works --after last week she has killed 51 mule deer--she even helps with the field dressing----WHAT A WOMAN--- We also have 5 kids who are all doing great--good luck in your future endeavors...


Hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Lets all think of the the young men in uniform GIVING their all. For them I am truly thankful.God bless the U.S. military.

Ralph the Rifleman

My prayers go out to all our military people serving during this holiday season.PLEASE, everyone support our troops!
Hey YooperJack, the Lake Gogeebic area is a very nice place to be, indeed! I plan on buying some land soon there, possibly a 160acre parcel around the Bergland area, we shall see? At any rate, I hope to be visiting the area again soon before the spring;Our Michigan UP is truely a gift from GOD-Happy Holidays to all!

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