John A. Tejeda
©2912 by Author
I left Fort Hood on a hot July day in 1981, having been assigned to SETAF Tuslog Det 74 near Corlu, Turkey. After arriving, my fellow travelers and I spent several days in orientation, learning the language and customs of Turkey, the dos and don'ts, and touring the city of Istanbul.
Almost immediately, I then departed to Germany for a supply course - which I did not really need - and took advantage of an extended vacation to Velsik, a place I knew so well while with C Battery 6/10FA, Bamberg, Germany ("six and dime with a nickle change"). Returning back to Turkey, I officially reported in to a great unit, Tuslog Det 74.
I realize now that a year tour was not enough, but then I tried to compress as many things into that year as possible and still performed my assigned duties to the Detachment. Every weekend was dedicated to roaming around in Corlu that has grown and Istanbul ("the Bul"). I certainly enjoyed the rich culture and the people. The sights of the cities were excellent and I saw so many of them including where the blue diamond was located, the museums, and especially the small cafes and resturants that few tourists visited, that made me feel like I actually lived there, rather than having been sent there.
I will always treasure the partying with my fellow soldiers at the 'Bul and Corlu. If I was given another chance to visit the Istanbul area again, I wouldn't do any things differently... but certainly I would do more touring.
Work wise, The Detachment I was assigned to was very professional and the personnel were the best of the best that I had the pleasure of serving with.
When the time to leave there came, I had mixed emotions. I was glad to be on the freedom bird heading home, but I was also sad that I would never be at Det 74 with the troops who were awaiting their flights. Its been 30 years since then, and it seems like yesterday! I will say, though, that one soldier that I miss greatly would be SP Cruel, he passed away at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. and I still remember our last conversation over the weekend before he collapsed and left the Detachment. So: Cruel, "Rest In Peace, forever young."
I would certainly like to hear from the trrops who were in Corlu from 1981-82, and I would really enjoy hearing from SSG Shootie, from whom I took over as the FNG Supply Sargent, I also cannot forget Major Charlie B. Black and Capt. Porkka.
More memories coming soon...