Re: when and where was your !st encounter with the m1 garand
My very first exposure to the M-1 Garand was in '66 in conjunction with a small unit combat training field exercise at Ft. Knox, KY. It was during the KY late spring rainy (monsoon) season and we all got totally embedded in the Ft. Knox red clay mud. If your shoe lace got loose during the exercise, the mud would suck your combat boot right off your foot. I to this day distinctly remember charging up a steep red clay mud hill in the pouring rain, stepping on the front edge of my poncho and falling forward on my face burying my M-1 Garand a full 8" deep in the red mud. I was not at all alone in that regard that day. It was one of those military 'object lesson' days for our platoon. At the end of the day (9 PM) we stripped ourselves and the Garands and took them in big piles of pieces parts into the steaming hot shower in the barracks. After which we dried all of the parts, randomly grabbed a hand full of necessary ones and reassembled our rifles. To my surprise those totally randomly reassembled M-1 Garands still worked like a champ. The M-1 Garand is a truly amazing old battle rifle.