Partial Transcript: Interviewer: Today is Monday November 9, 2015. This is an interview with Clinton Grigg
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about growing up in Kingsford, Michigan and his decision to enlist in the Army.
Map Coordinates: 45.794, -88.072
Partial Transcript: Interviewer: Tell me a little about the initial phases—induction and basic training. You’re about twenty years old at that point?
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about his basic training and advanced training at Fort Leonard Wood (Missouri). He talks about the challenges he had with physical training.
Map Coordinates: 37.725, -92.164
Partial Transcript: Grigg: From Fort Lee I went to Korea for a year.
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about his year-long deployment to Korea and his experiences of being away from his family. He talks about his interactions with civilians and traveling in Korea.
Map Coordinates: 37.778, 126.785
Partial Transcript: Grigg: I came back from there and got stationed at Fort Campbell which was probably more scary than anything.
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about his continuing fitness issues and his assignment to a different unit.
Map Coordinates: 36.65, -87.466
Partial Transcript: Interviewer: What was your first impression of Saudi Arabia?
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about his first impressions when arriving in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, the living conditions and food, and day-to-day duties.
Map Coordinates: 26.470, 49.798
Partial Transcript: Grigg: Went back to Fort Campbell and everything seemed kinda get back to normal.
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about his decision to leave the Army, after initially deciding to enlist, taking a separation benefit, and having to pay it back after receiving disability benefits through the VA.
Partial Transcript: Interviewer: You said that it was hard to transition from Army work to civilian work?
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about the challenges he had moving into civilian employment and what he misses about being in the military.
Map Coordinates: 44.519, -88.019
Partial Transcript: Interviewer: Do you have any plans for Veterans Day on Wednesday?
Segment Synopsis: Grigg talks about going to his granddaughter's school and other plans for Veterans Day. He tells a story about a going on a training exercise to Florida, while in service. The interview is concluded.
BROOKS: Today is Monday November 9, 2015. This is an interview with ClintonGrigg who served with the Army from January 1984 to March 1992 and participated in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. This interview is being conducted at Mr. Griggs's home in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The interviewer is Ellen Brooks and the interview is being recorded for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Oral History Program. Clinton participates in the Artists for the Humanities Return and Recovery program which is featured is WVM's current temporary exhibit titled War:Raw. Let's start at the beginning--if you can tell me where and when you were born.
GRIGG: I was born in Ishpeming, Michigan. March 20, 1964.
BROOKS: Can you spell that?
GRIGG: Ishpeming? I-S-H-P-E-M-I-N-G.
BROOKS: Okay. And did you grow up there?
GRIGG: I moved a lot when I was--the first couple of years we moved like it was00:01:00like eight times I think before we finally got to where the house where I considered my childhood home. Between Munising and Ishpeming back and forth a couple of different times. Then we moved to Iron Mountain and that was in kindergarten, I think it was. And then next year we bought a house in Kingsford, Michigan.
BROOKS: Tell me a little bit about your upbringing, what kind of child you were.
GRIGG: Kind of child I was? [laughs]
GRIGG: Enjoyed camping and stuff, we did a lot of camping. Every weekendfrom--my dad's birthday was the fifth of May--so we were out there ever year we went camping first weekend in May until school started usually. I grew up in a country kind of setting--riding motorcycles and dirt bikes, and stuff like that. 00:02:00
BROOKS: What did you parents do for a living?
GRIGG: My dad was mostly in auto parts but then he switched careers when I wasin high school then in construction. My mom worked in a wood working factory then she worked for a parts company. I'm not exactly sure what she did
GRIGG: I have a younger brother who served four years in the Marines and ayounger sister who lives in Green Bay. My mom lives in Kingsford still and still in my childhood home and my brother lives about a mile from my mom's.
BROOKS: Okay. Were you close to your siblings growing up?
GRIGG: Yes, still pretty close to them. Don't get to see my brother a whole lotbecause he's always busy doing something and his daughter has just moved up to 00:03:00Nevada somewhere, got married and her and her--her husband's a lawyer and she's in like political women's things or something, I'm not exactly sure.
BROOKS: She moved pretty far away?
BROOKS: Great, so tell me about your decision to go into the Army.
GRIGG: Couldn't really afford to go to school. I figured, "Well gotta tocontinue my education somehow." Not quite what I thought I was going to get out of it but I was working on Army stuff, and getting out and working on civilian stuff is like night and day almost.
BROOKS: Why the Army?
GRIGG: Cause they could guarantee me that I was gonna work in the job that I wastrained for pretty much, which I did but didn't. The Marines said, "Well we'll 00:04:00train you in the job that you want but can't guarantee that that's where we're going to need you so you may be working in something totally different" I said, "Well I don't want do that. I want to be a mechanic, so I want to be trained as a mechanic and work as a mechanic."
BROOKS: Did you know that might be what you wanted to do when you left the army then?
GRIGG: I had an idea that that was pretty much what I would like to do. Fromtime I was old enough to know what was going on with bicycles, I was always working on the neighborhood kids' bikes, fixing them.
BROOKS: Tell me a little about the initial phases--induction and basic training.You're about twenty years old at that point?
GRIGG: I was nineteen--I turned twenty in basic training. It wasn't so bad whenI first got there because I was expecting it, you know, right away but we 00:05:00spent--I think it was like three days in reception center where the first day I think you got your haircut, then you start getting uniforms and stuff. I think the third day the drill sergeants when they come pick up and they don't say nothing--they just tell you where to go and they start yelling at you. I was like "What did I get myself into?" Kind of scary at first.
BROOKS: Where were you training?
GRIGG: Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
BROOKS: Did you go in with anyone that you knew?
GRIGG: No. Kind of met up with a guy that was--he was from Milwaukee, I think hewas, somewhere in Wisconsin. Kind of went through basic training and AIT [Advanced Infantry Training] with him. Then kind of lost track of him after that.
BROOKS: What was the most difficult thing about basic training?
GRIGG: Running--I had problems with my legs from the get-go, shin splints and00:06:00stuff. That was my hardest thing, was the running part.
BROOKS: Was there anything that you found you enjoyed about basic training?
GRIGG: Going to the range and stuff, I guess. That was probably the best partabout it. You got to shoot machine guns and I guess you call them. Getting to meet people from different cultures and different areas of the country I guess is kinda interesting too. I think the first week of basic training it snowed in Missouri and they got like a half inch of snow and they closed the whole base down because they didn't have any ways to remove the snow I guess. There was some kid from California that just--"Oh, I'll shovel, I'll shovel." I'm like, "Go ahead," I've been shoveling for probably ten years at that point. "Go ahead 00:07:00and shovel, knock yourself out." [laughter]
BROOKS: Was there anything that surprised you about basic training--besidesmaybe snow in Missouri?
GRIGG: Not really, I don't think. It was kind of everything I expected it to be.
BROOKS: And then you went on to AIT?
BROOKS: Where was that?
GRIGG: At Fort Leonard Wood too. You had two week's leave between basic trainingand AIT which was kinda nice. My girlfriend at the time and my mom actually came down for graduation and I hadn't passed my PT [Physical Training] test yet so I couldn't--I didn't go to graduation, I went and took my PT test that day while everybody else was graduating. I did pass it and surprised my dad when I came home. Walked into the airport and he slapped me. [laughs] So surprised and 00:08:00excited to see me, he didn't know what to do, he slapped me in the face--not hard but.
BROOKS: You went home for your two weeks leave?
BROOKS: Mm-hm. Then went back to AIT and finished that.
BROOKS: How long was that?
GRIGG: I think like twelve weeks.
BROOKS: And were you being trained to be a mechanic then?
GRIGG: Yes. Light-Wheel Vehicle and Power Generation Mechanic actually was whatmy MOS [Military Occupation Specialty] was considered at the time but probably two years after I was in they cut the Power Generation off and made that a whole separate MOS.
BROOKS: Did you enjoy your AIT?
GRIGG: It was okay. I ended up getting sick for--like halfway through and endedup spending like three days in the hospital because I had, what they called ARD 00:09:00[Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome] which is kind of like pneumonia. Everybody else was sweating and I'm like freezing and I'm like "I wanna wear my field jacket."--it was like April, beginning of June I think it was. I was freezing, I was just sick. Spent a couple of days in the hospital, got better and good thing it was a weekend I guess.
BROOKS: Yeah, I was gonna say.
GRIGG: Didn't miss out too much on school that way. Then when I went to--gotsent to Fort Lee, Virginia after AIT and was so worried about going to the Chicago airport trying to catch the right plane and get on the right plane that I left all my orders and stuff on that airplane. I got to Fort Lee and they were like "Well, how do we know you're even supposed to be here?" "Well I'm a private in the Army, why would I not be here, if I'm not supposed to be here?" "Well how do we know, you didn't go AWOL and come back or something?" Because Fort Lee is 00:10:00basically a training post too for AIT for petroleum products and Quartermaster, like laundry and stuff like that. But my first unit that I was stationed in was a field service unit and we had a laundry [inaudible] section we always had showers we went into field. And we got a field bakery so we always had fresh bread when we went into the field.
GRIGG: Which was kinda nice.
BROOKS: Living it up. So they got you all sorted out finally at Fort Lee?
GRIGG: Took about a week I think and they didn't know where to send me. I spentalmost five years there. I was there--I would have spent my whole first four years there and I actually reenlisted there and reenlisted for another year cause I had gotten married and I had two kids and my daughter was just born so I 00:11:00reenlisted so.
BROOKS: Tell me a little bit about everyday life on the base there.
GRIGG: It was pretty laidback and relaxed. Pretty much--was just like a regularjob pretty much, after work. I did everything from--I was a mechanic most--for the first couple of years I was there but then they had--usually like the maintenance was in headquarters platoon or whatever, usually--office people and whatnot. But we actually had our own platoon at Fort Lee so each platoon was required to send somebody down, drive bus at transportation work pool, where they drive trainees around stuff so I ended up getting sent down to bus training 00:12:00and learning how to drive a big bus. Spent a couple of years doing that there, from being a bus driver then I got--they had like nighttime people that dispatched vehicles and stuff like that so I ended up doing that for a while too, which was kinda nice 'cause I had three days off at a time a lot of times. And my brother was stationed at Cherry Point, North Carolina, which was only like--I think it was like five hundred miles from Fort Lee to where he was at. I'd go down and see my brother and sister-in-law every once in a while.
BROOKS: When did he join?
GRIGG: He actually joined before I did. I think he joined his senior year inhigh school. I think he joined like June of that year, right as a junior--as senior year started, somewhere right in there and I didn't join in until December. 00:13:00
BROOKS: Was there any rivalry between you two--Army and Marines?
GRIGG: Not really, no. A little bit of rubbing here and there but not muchreally rivalry I wouldn't say.
BROOKS: You met your wife while you were on the base at Fort Lee?
GRIGG: No, my wife was my high school sweetheart who I'd broken up with and gotback together and married her and had two kids.
BROOKS: She came to live with you down in Virginia? What did you think of Virginia?
GRIGG: It was nice, it was interesting. All the old plantations and all the oldRevolutionary War history and stuff that was around there was real interesting--Appomattox River and the Potomac River. Actually drove a bus up to Walter Reed a couple times for patients that had to go up there for 00:14:00appointments. I felt so bad one day there was a guy that had a broken neck and he had one of those halos on, the guy sat all the way in the back of the bus, the bumpiest part of the bus and he looked okay when he got on the bus but by the time he got off the bus he didn't look okay. There was stuff coming out of the--where the screws are in his head or whatever in from the halo thing and he looked like he was in pretty rough shape. Why he sat all the way in the back of the bus, I don't know. From Fort Lee I went to Korea for a year.
BROOKS: Oh, tell me about that.
GRIGG: That was--well, really different. To go see it, you never realize whatyou have until you go somewhere like Korea where they have running water inside but they don't' have indoor toilets or hot water. That was in 1989, I was like 00:15:00"Wow. I didn't realize people still lived that way."
BROOKS: What part of Korea were you in?
GRIGG: The northern part. There was Camp Edwards, East and West and I was atCamp Edwards West. Which was just a little tiny--I think there was like three units on our base. Maybe four and that was a medical unit, second--what was it? I can't even remember it. 2nd Med I think it was called. I think it was there for like six months then they switched that too and we were cut off from them, made into our own company and put in a different battalion, which was kinda weird. I was actually in two different units over there but the same unit.
BROOKS: Do you remember what your thoughts were when you learned you were beingdeployed to Korea? 00:16:00
GRIGG: I didn't wanna go. Because it was--well I reenlisted I think itwas--can't remember which month it was, think I reenlisted in the fall and in March of the following year I found out that I was being sent to Korea, I was like "Well, I just reenlisted to stay here for another year. How am I getting orders for Korea?" Right after my year was up, they sent me to Korea. My daughter was only eleven or thirteen months at the time. I was like "I don't want to leave my kids, miss out on a whole year of their lives." That was the roughest part about going to Korea I think. That and a big earthquake in 1989--I think it was '89 or early '90 they had a big earthquake in California and my wife used to send me a check every two weeks. My check got lost in the earthquake somewhere I'm guessing 'cause I never received it. I figured it must 00:17:00have got lost in the earthquake it never came and I had to go like an extra week without any money over there which was really rough.
BROOKS: What did you do in your downtime over there?
GRIGG: Mostly just hung out with friends. Did a lot of drinking over there Iguess, I don't know. When I first got over there met this guy and he's like "It's Friday. It's somebody's birthday. It's time to have a party."
BROOKS: Always a reason.
GRIGG: Always a reason with him, I guess. Good thing he was only there for acouple of months after I got there.
BROOKS: And you were there for a year?
GRIGG: I was there for a year.
BROOKS: And what was everyday life like over there?
GRIGG: Kind of lonely but it was just another day in work. Go to work, get yourwork done.
BROOKS: How often would you be able communicate back home?00:18:00
GRIGG: Usually about once a week, maybe once every two weeks sometimes,depending on what was going on.
BROOKS: And how--were you able to call?
GRIGG: Yeah, call, wrote letters. I was not much of a writer and my wife wouldmake tapes of the kids talking and send them to me which was cool.
BROOKS: Do you still have them?
GRIGG: Mm-hm. Getting harder to find a cassette player though. [laughs]
BROOKS: Yeah, I know. [laughs] I know about that. Was there anything about Koreathat really surprised you besides the--it seems like it was pretty rustic?
GRIGG: The prices on like clothes and shoes were really cheap. I can't remember,00:19:00jackets here were like one hundred and fifty bucks and you can get them over there for like seventy-five, if you were looking for something like that.
BROOKS: Did you bring home any souvenirs?
GRIGG: Not really. Took pictures, but I don't think I ever got them developed.That was--because of North Korea over there they have tank traps, where they got these big cement walls and the other side of the wall there's a big trench and the trench is there for protection and for monsoon season--call them turtle traps, that's what they call them. Because you get there and takes you a whole year to go--so you're a turtle. Pretty much count the days until you go back to 00:20:00the States. Some people brought their kids over there, and I was like, "Wow, I couldn't see having my kids over here." But the kids were playing with the Korean kids that didn't speak any English and got along and it was different to see.
BROOKS: Did you interact with a lot of civilians?
Grigg: Not a whole lot. We had a Korean national that worked in our motor pool,did painting and cleaning and stuff like that. Got to be friends with him and his brother actually owned a tire shop so we actually had stuff done at his brother's tire shop. He invited us to his house one time--once or twice we were at his house and had us over, drank sake with him and his and his brother. The same guy took us--me and a friend of mine--to Seoul and showed us around Seoul.
BROOKS: How was that?
GRIGG: It was interesting. First time I rode on a train I think. Took a train00:21:00from where I was down to Seoul which was probably about an hour ride.
BROOKS: And what were your primary responsibilities there,as part of your unit?
GRIGG: Mechanical stuff. Because I was an E5, I was treated like an NCO[Non-commissioned Officer], so I was in charge of like CQ which is quarters watch for overnight--answer the phones and stuff. Super Bowl Sunday--well, Sunday over there--I worked all night then a friend of mine went up to the--it was the NCO club, the only club that was on base and had pizza for breakfast at 7:30 in the morning and drank beer and watched--ate pizza and watched the Super Bowl at 7:30 in the morning. It was kind of weird. 00:22:00
BROOKS: Do you remember who was playing that year? It's okay if you don't, it'snot important. [laughs]
GRIGG: Washington I think. I can't remember for sure.
BROOKS: Yeah. That's an interesting experience, bringing the United States over there.
GRIGG: It's one of the--probably one of the best memories of Korea that I haveis working all night and then watching the Super Bowl and eating pizza and drinking beer at 7:30 in the morning.
BROOKS: Did you celebrate any other holidays over there?
GRIGG: Not really. They would have--well, Thanksgiving you had to dress up inyour dress uniform. "I'm not doing that." Went to a Korean restaurant I think that day and had ramen. Not dressing up just to go eat lunch or dinner. I came back from there and got stationed at Fort Campbell which was probably more scary 00:23:00than anything.
GRIGG: Because I didn't want to get stuck in an infantry unit or I was going tohave to do a lot of running and walking. Because I'd messed my legs up in basic training and I think it was while I was stationed in Korea they finally put me on a permanent profile for "No running and marching." Which I was kind of--that was actually in Virginia I think I got that before I actually went to Korea because they didn't know how to send me to school. Because you got to go PLDC [Primary Leadership Development Course] in order to get promoted to E5 and they didn't know how to send me to school because of my profile and nobody knew how to handle it. So ____[?] Korea. And I was overweight a lot of time over there. They finally did send me--told me they were going to send me to PLDC right 00:24:00before I got out,
BROOKS: And what's PLDC?
GRIGG: Primary Leadership Development Course.
BROOKS: And you have to do PT with that? That was the problem?
GRIGG: You have to actually--what do you call it? Run PT.
BROOKS: Oh yeah. Okay, so you have to be the trainer, kind of thing?
GRIGG: Mm-hm. Right.
BROOKS: So you got to Fort Campbell?
GRIGG: I actually got assigned to a signal unit which was kinda nice because Iknew I wasn't going to be walking everywhere. It was kinda nice when Desert Storm started--or Desert Shield started--because being in the unit I was, we had a switch board truck and somehow they could get into the civilian telephone lines, somehow, someway. That and we were in this building--I don't even know 00:25:00what it was at one time--but we had this little office in here and right next door was this general's office, well he had a direct line right to AT&T. If we knew he was gone we could go in the office could disconnect his phone and hook our phone up to his line and make long distance phone calls--collect of course--but could call home that way which was nice. You didn't have to stand in line like everybody else did and wait for, "Oh we're going to the phones today and go stand in line for two hours to make a ten minute phone call."
BROOKS: Yeah, I've heard about those lines. How long were you in Fort Campbellbefore you got deployed? Unless there's something in between? 00:26:00
GRIGG: I was there a little over five months before I got deployed.
BROOKS: Did you have any notion that you'd end up going back overseas?
GRIGG: No, I figured I'd just came back from being overseas and "I don't have togo back for at least three years, I hope." I hoped at least and I was back for five and a half, almost six months and got sent back over.
BROOKS: Did your family move to Fort Campbell?
GRIGG: Yes. When I went to Korea they actually moved up to Michigan and my wifestayed with her parents for that year and came back, and we all moved to Kentucky. Well, my brother in law, him and his wife, and daughter, at the time had come down and left their daughter with us and they went to Blue Ridge 00:27:00Mountains for a couple of days, came down on vacations spent it with us and they went away and then came back. It was right before--weeks before I get deployed back to--over to Saudi Arabia.
BROOKS: Tell me about your reaction, I kind of imagine but what was yourreaction when you found out you were going over?
GRIGG: It was pretty scary, something I never expected. It was peace time; Inever expected to get sent anywhere.
BROOKS: And how much did you know about the region and what was going on?
GRIGG: Nothing really. I didn't really know anything about it. I knew it wasdesert I guess. I didn't really follow the news too much at the time so I didn't know what was going on over there until things actually happened. All of a sudden we were getting ready to deploy over to Saudi Arabia.
BROOKS: What was that like, that preparation?
GRIGG: It was kinda crazy. Get issued new uniforms and do this and do that and00:28:00go here and go there and get shots. I guess it could have been even crazier because you're supposed to be able to ready the--up and ready to go within 72 hours and they gave us like two weeks to get ready to go. But we were like one of the first units over there. Or, I guess not units it would be regiment maybe. I know 101st got up and went all at one time pretty much. And we sent some guys over there, a week or two before we actually left to go working on setting up our tents and our area where we were going to stay. We got there and tents weren't ready to be--the tent city wasn't ready yet so we spent two days at King Fahd [International] Airport [Dammam, Saudi Arabia] sleeping in the parking garage with no cots or anything, just sleeping bags on the hard concrete--it 00:29:00wasn't really fun.
BROOKS: What was your first impression of Saudi Arabia?
GRIGG: It was--well they told us to drink water, drink water, drink water. Sothe whole time were on the airplane over there we were drinking water, as much as we can. We get over there, they hand us a big two liter--probably a liter of water. "Hurry up, drink that. Drink it, drink it." Well, they didn't tell us that after drinking after all this water that we're going to get stuck on a bus and have to go for an hour ride on a bus with no--it was like a school bus and they didn't stop for anybody to use the rest room or nothing, after all the water that everybody drank. I remember stopping at the gate to get into where we were going--the airport I guess it was--and the bus pulled over and about twenty people ran off the bus. "Get back on the bus you can't be doing that right 00:30:00here." You gotta go, you gotta go I guess. When we landed over there it was still like eighty-seven degrees or something and it was like one o'clock in the morning.
BROOKS: What month was this?
GRIGG: September. And by March it was cold and rainy.
BROOKS: So you slept on the ground in the airport for a few days.
GRIGG: Stayed in tents. I remember watching them like Lawrence of Arabia--thetents that we stayed in they looked just like the ones on the movie. Big white tents with this--white on the outside and really funky colors on the inside, 00:31:00weird patters and shapes and just remind me of Lawrence of Arabia movies.
BROOKS: And how many people in a tent for sleeping?
GRIGG: Let's see--I think we had about eight people in our tent. When we firstgo over there and didn't have any mess hall facilities set up so I think for the first two weeks we were there we had nothing buy MREs [Meals Ready To Eat] to eat--they're nasty and gross I think but they're much better if they're heated up. Well, it was so hot that you could take your MRE and throw it out in the--I don't know if they brought white sand in where the tents were but you could throw your MRE out in the sand let it sit out there for twenty minutes, half an hour and you'd open it up it was so hot that you'd burn your mouth. That's how 00:32:00hot it got during the day over there. Those foil things in the white sand just--heated them up nice.
BROOKS: Did you finally get a kitchen?
GRIGG: Finally, eventually, we did yeah. But it went from three MREs a day toMREs twice a day and one hot meal a day and then finally got to where it was two hot meals--at breakfast and dinner at least--eventually. When we first got over there you would wait all day long--sit there and wait for hours for the ice truck to come, get your big chunk of ice in a barrel and put it in your water and stuff, in there to keep your water cold. I think they gave us soda too every day. It wasn't so bad then at least soda to drink with your MRE. Sodas and juices and stuff but to keep them cold was--they had to bring ice every day. And 00:33:00the showers over there were just like pieces of plywood shaped in a square and I think there was two showers per thing and they had like a--maybe a hundred gallon tank on top of them, they'd fill them in the morning, afternoon they'd be hot. But being a mechanic and working the motor pool usually by the time we got off and ate and got time to take a shower they were usually empty, lot of days.
BROOKS: What were your hours then?
GRIGG: Probably worked until five or six at night. That was normal after awhile. The first three weeks we couldn't do anything from ten o'clock in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon or something like that because it was the hottest part of the day and they wanted us to get acclimated to conditions over there I guess. From ten in the morning 'til three--I think 00:34:00probably two o'clock we had to sit in our tents and--which was alright I guess, kind of boing after a while, for the first few days.
BROOKS: Yeah, what would you do?
GRIGG: Sit around and talk I guess. Sleep. I don't know. Try to sleep because itwas so hot in the tent.
BROOKS: During this time was it just your responsibility to keep all thevehicles running and doing routine maintenance or was there more to it?
GRIGG: At the time it wasn't only routine maintenance--if there was somethingthat needed to be done or something that was broke--but vehicles didn't really go anywhere so there wasn't a whole lot to do with them, when we first got over there.
BROOKS: So you were just waiting to see--
GRIGG: Waiting to see what was going to happen next basically. Then I was overthere a couple of months and got sent up to forward operating base which is 00:35:00where they had the office and stuff. Up there all our equipment was hooked to commercial power so we didn't have to run any of our generators so I didn't have that to work on. The trucks that were there didn't go anywhere because they were telephone trucks or whatever you want to call them, radio trucks or switchboard trucks--they didn't go anywhere, they just sat there the whole time. Probably the first month I was there I didn't have a whole lot to do. Sit and talk to my friends in his truck, if he was working--but I didn't actually have a set job to do. I spent a lot of time sitting in my tent reading a book. High school I probably read two books. Never was much of a reader but I think I read probably four books over there in probably a month and a half--nothing else to do. Then 00:36:00finally they said "Well, you can't be sitting round doing nothing anymore." He had me--four hours where I had to go sit in the office and answer the phone if it rang or somebody came in and needed something. We were pretty close to where the filled up helicopters and refueling point or whatever. I don't know, somehow they came over and talked to us and asked us if anybody wanted to go on a helicopter ride and "I've never been on a helicopter, I'll go." Get to go fly in a Blackhawk with one of my friends--two of friends I think. Three or four of us go to go, it was kind of a neat thing.
BROOKS: Did you go on a run or was it just--?
GRIGG: I don't know if they'd worked on the helicopter or something and they hadto go test drive it or something afterwards. It was kinda like something like 00:37:00that I'd guess.
BROOKS: Was it the first time--not the first time you'd been in a planeobviously, 'cause you flew over.
GRIGG: No. First time ever on a helicopter.
BROOKS: What did you think?
GRIGG: I thought it was fun, something probably never get the chance toexperience again. I don't know there was lots of experienced that happened like that--spur of the moment things that happened. "Sure, I'll try that."
BROOKS: Was there ever any training, did you have to keep up with your PT overthere or how did they handle that?
GRIGG: We still did PT but we did it in the afternoons instead of mornings. Idon't know why. It was cooler in the afternoon I guess. Maybe it was because of 00:38:00the showers being filled during the day and they didn't want to fill them in the morning I guess maybe that had something to do with it. When they'd sent us over there they'd given us an extra canteen that was bigger, plus they'd given us those collapsible bottles. I think the ones we had got were like a gallon and a half. There were many times that we worked late, we went down and there was no water in the showers and you had to walk all the way back to your tent. Then we'd fill those little jugs up with a gallon and a half of water, go down to the shower and turn it on just enough to get wet, get--wash yourself and rinse yourself, hopefully you had enough water left in the bottle to rinse yourself.
BROOKS: I've heard a lot of stories about wildlife and snake and scorpions and thing.
Grigg: I saw a few scorpions and things. Didn't see any snakes over there at00:39:00all, I'm glad. Saw a really ugly lizard, never seen a lizard that looked like that before. I was like three feet long, just ugly looking. I don't know what kind of lizard it was. Used to wash our clothes by hand because otherwise it was like week to get your laundry back and you only had two uniforms. So you wore one and you washed one. By the time you hung it out to dry it was probably so full of sand that it was--at least it smelled clean.
BROOKS: That's important. Were you paying attention to what was going on acrossthe border?
GRIGG: Trying to. You probably got more news from the radio than anything. Wehad a BBC station over there or something, that we could pick up and understand 00:40:00I guess.
BROOKS: But not a lot of updates from your officers?
GRIGG: No, not a lot. They probably were as clueless as we were at the time I'mguessing. Lots of planes flying over, when the war finally did start or--I guess you'd call it the war. We started bombing Iraq and then from that forward operating base I moved--actually we went all the way back to our tent city to turn around and drive all the way up north again. Then we had to dig holes and you could only dig down maybe three and a half feet and you hit limestone--you 00:41:00couldn't go any further. Just enough to put a cot in and put ponchos over the top to keep you--'cause this was late January or early February and it actually rained a couple of times and--they call it a sleeping hole I guess it was called and it rained and my poncho came down on my side and I got just flooded. You wouldn't think--you're in the desert it's not going to rain, that much at least. Got enough water to build up on the poncho that my sleeping bag just got drenched.
The bathrooms weren't any fun either. I think I only had to burn once which was00:42:00once too many for me. Guess everybody had to do it. The guy I was doing it with that day, dummy, almost blew himself up. Wasn't burning good enough he thought so he was going to take the gas can and pour gas on while the flames jumped up the can and luckily he threw the can. There was enough space that it quit burning otherwise it would have been a big explosion probably.
BROOKS: Close call.
BROOKS: So you're making your way up towards the front at that point?
GRIGG: At that point, yeah. Getting ready in case he didn't surrender--which hedidn't--or get out of Kuwait or whatever it was that he was supposed to do. I think the day before the ground thing started we got our stuff ready and we 00:43:00moved up to staging area, had no clue where it was, out in the middle of nowhere. Our trucks were kind of parked in a line and we had to pull guard duty on the truck and watch around the trucks to make sure nobody came in and got us. Which was freaky I guess--not knowing what's out there in the middle of the night and for all I know were still in Saudi Arabia, so it was probably safe for the most part. Then we drove and drove and drove, all day long, but when you're only going twenty, thirty miles an hour, probably not even that at times, it's hard to tell how far you actually went. From what I was told we actually spent like a week inside Iraq but by the time we got there it was done--only a hundred hours or whatever. By the time we left where we were at and staged at--our vehicles staged--wherever else we were supposed to meet up with and go north. By 00:44:00the time we got north it was over with already. But I guess they figured that some people didn't know so we had our duty and stuff to do. I don't even remember what the sleeping arrangements were back then, where we were at. I think we just slept in our vehicles at that time.
BROOKS: What vehicles were you driving in?
GRIGG: Pickup trucks and "Deuce and a Half's" mostly. [pause] Came back and weall celebrated which I didn't think we really--we were deployed and stuff and there was a chance of--some people got shot at and stuff but I didn't feel like 00:45:00we were big heroes like everybody said we were. I thought the guys who came back from Vietnam that got spit on should have got that, not us. Cause we didn't really--I didn't feel I really did a whole lot over there.
BROOKS: Well, what was guard duty like, when you finally got into Iraq and didyou have to--I guess I'm wondering how much you saw of the aftermath of the bombings and--?
GRIGG: I didn't. Not where I was at, we didn't see anything really. Cause mostof the stuff had happened closer to Kuwait and we were way over by--I can't remember the name of town we were by. It was kind of neat though, we did get experience to go into the town, do a little bit of shopping and go to a restaurant. I think that was--can't remember if that was before or after. I 00:46:00think it might have been after everything was done with already. We were in one area and then we went into Iraq and then we came back to the exact same area for like a week or two I think it was. Actually got to go in the town and walk around and do a little bit of shopping and stuff. Like three o'clock in the afternoon everything shuts down now because it's prayer time so they all gotta go pray or whatever and so everything--the whole town gets shut down for an hour, hour and a half, something like that so they can go pray then they come back and open their stores back up again.
BROOKS: What were your interactions like with the civilians you saw?
GRIGG: Mostly nice to me--didn't really have any bad experiences. [pause] If I00:47:00had to pick out the worst thing from over there I'd have to say standing in line for two hours one time to go use the PX and get in there and find out "There's not really anything in here I want." [laughs]
BROOKS: So how long were you over there total, do you know?
GRIGG: Went over there in September, came back in April. Coming back my kidsdidn't know what to do. They didn't recognize me I guess cause I had spent a year away came back for a few months and was gone again for another seven, eight months.
BROOKS: What was that homecoming like?
GRIGG: Coming back was--we landed in Rome I think it was. They filled the plane00:48:00with too much fuel or something I guess like, "Well, don't you fill it up every time?" I guess they don't, they only put enough fuel to make it where you're going to go and maybe a little extra but they put way too much fuel in so they had to come through and ask everybody how much they weighed so they could figure out if they had to--I guess it would have taken them like three hours to drain the fuel back off the plane. They figured out everybody's weight and the calculations and stuff. "Okay, okay, whatever." We were supposed to go from Rome to Bangor, Maine I think it was. Well, because of the fuel situation we ended up going to JFK and landing. Coming into the airport and all these fire trucks and lights going because our plane had too much fuel when it left Rome and they 00:49:00didn't know what's going to happen with it, well that's kind of scary.
BROOKS: Was that a commercial flight?
GRIGG: Yeah it was a commercial flight--commercial flight over and a commercialflight back.
BROOKS: How did they get all the vehicles over?
GRIGG: I guess it took longer than two weeks to get ready cause theyprobably--two weeks before I think maybe we drove all our vehicles down to Jacksonville, Florida from Fort Campbell. They loaded them up on ships there and sent them over. I think I remember going over there and picking up vehicles at the port and driving them back to where we had to take them to. That was pretty neat, taking them--driving our vehicles down to Florida, people standing on the 00:50:00overpasses, waving flags and banners and just cheering us on I guess. I don't know how they knew when convoys were coming through but there was people lined up all--a lot of different towns that we went through. Went through Chattanooga, Tennessee--actually got a police escort all the way through the town cause we--I don't know why we drove through the town. We had a police escort stopping streets so we didn't have to stop at stop lights and keep going it was kinda neat there. Went back to Fort Campbell and everything seemed kinda get back to normal. I was coming up on getting out again and I reenlisted for another eight years in October and then January someone told me that they were going to downsize and if I wouldn't have got promoted by the time I--by September they 00:51:00were probably going to get rid of me. I said, "I'll take this bonus and get out."
BROOKS: Why had you initially decided to reenlist?
GRIGG: I'd planned on staying in for--I already had eight years in so why not?It's halfway to twenty almost--so I'd planned on staying in, making it a career, until I found out that they lowered the retention rules so I was going to be over already so I don't know what would have happened if I would have stayed in. Kinda wish I would have now.
GRIGG: Because--they call it a SSB [Special Separation Benefit]--separation,something. I forget what it stood for but it's some kind of bonus they offered. I thought it was like early retirement--they went by your time in service and 00:52:00your pay grade and how much money you got when you got out. I figured, "Well I've already spent almost two years away from my kids. What's going on over there? Who know what's going to happen again. I might as well get out so I can watch my kids grow up." So I took the bonus not knowing that if I got any help from the VA [Veterans Administration] afterwards that I was going to have to pay all that money back. Because I had two surgeries on my left leg while I was in so I knew I was going to get some kind of disability when I was out. That was 10 percent disabled when I got out of the service and nobody told me I was going to have to pay that money back until twenty years later.
BROOKS: The money for any subsequent visits to the VA or for the surgeries?00:53:00
GRIGG: For the bonus that I got. It was written in the paperwork but who readsthe paperwork, right? Who believes what the government is gonna tell you? So I was at 10 percent for probably about nine years which probably would have paid most of that money back. It was only about a hundred dollars a month but it was like 2001 when I was diagnosed with service connected disabilities from the Gulf War and I was raised up to 70 percent, I think it was. And they still didn't tell me I had to pay this money back. Then in--let's see it was 2011, I applied 00:54:00for more disability and individual unemployability and that's when they said, "Oh you need to pay this money back yet." I went ten months without any kind of income at all. Cause by that time I was living on my disability and I had to pay back seventeen thousand dollars back to the government that I had no idea I was going to have to pay back. And trying to fight to say, "I need this money, I live on it, I'm not--I'm okay with paying the money back because now I see it's in the paperwork." I went back and looked at my papers and "Oh yeah, there it is. Says right there." But according to the Department of Defense and finance if you get any kind of bonus like that then disability goes towards that until it's 00:55:00paid off.
BROOKS: So you were supposed to use your bonus to pay off the disability? Or topay off--
GRIGG: My disability to pay off the bonus I'd received.
BROOKS: Okay, I see.
GRIGG: Took them twenty years to finally catch up with me when--at the time Ifirst got out I was able to get a job and work a hundred dollars wouldn't have been a whole lot and a big chuck would have at least been paid off by then.
Brooks: And when you got bumped up to 70 percent what was that--what did thatentail? What was your disability at that point?
BROOKS: Meaning were you diagnosed with something?
GRIGG: Yeah. Fibromyalgia and depression and--what else? My leg was--so it allcombined was--well the way they do it is weird too. When they said I was 70 00:56:00percent it was like 40 percent for this and 30 percent for that and 10 percent for that. You add that up and it comes to 90 percent. Well they have a different way of scoring things and it goes by number system or something, I'm not sure how it works but all that--that 90 percent actually--by the time the Army does it--the government does it it's 70 percent or 60 percent. I can't remember. Sixty I think it was--but I went from ten up to sixty. And then when I applied again for individual unemployability and more disability because my conditions had gotten worse was when they finally caught up with me and said, "You gotta pay back this money now." That was probably worse than being in the service--almost lost my house. 00:57:00
BROOKS: Where were you living at that point?
GRIGG: Right here.
BROOKS: So when did you end up moving here?
GRIGG: Moved here in 2004. This was my wife's childhood home and we moved inwith my mother-in-law. Her husband had passed away in March of 2003 and September 2004 we moved into here with her because it was too hard to cut grass at the apartment we were living in and take care of the stuff we had to take care of at the apartment, plus come over here and cut the grass or shovel snow. Figured well, let's move in here and then 2008 we actually bought the house from my mother in law.
BROOKS: How long had you lived in Wisconsin before you moved here?
GRIGG: I actually started living in Wisconsin I guess you'd say in like May of00:58:002002. When I got out of the service--I was originally from the UP [Upper Peninsula, Michigan] and I looked for work up there and put in applications and didn't even get phone call to say, "Come in for an interview." or anything. My sister was living down here so I came down here and found work down here and been here ever since.
BROOKS: You said that it was hard to transition from Army work to civilian work?
GRIGG: The stuff in the service I was working on was stuff that was made back inWorld War II and upgraded during Vietnam from gas to diesel and it's still so far behind that--I'd gotten a job being a truck mechanic and I didn't know all the stuff I was working on basically. If it was like a pickup truck or something that came in I could work on that somewhat but bigger trucks there was brake systems and stuff that I had no clue about--that I tried do it but usually made 00:59:00more of a mess and stuff them up worse than. [laughs] But then I got out--go out of that job and had a couple of things and actually got a job rebuilding starters and alternators which was probably my favorite job after the Army.
BROOKS: And where was that?
GRIGG: Green Bay Rebuilders, here in Green Bay, which has since been sold andmoved a couple of times now.
Brooks: How long were you there?
GRIGG: About five years, pretty close to five years I think it was. A littleover five years maybe. The guy that I worked for was, he was very different. 01:00:00Things got slow and because I made more money than the other guy he laid me off. I had more experienced and more seniority but he laid me off instead of the other guy because it was cheaper to pay him and he was known for doing that kind of thing to people I guess.
BROOKS: Where did you go from there?
GRIGG: Let's see what did I do after that? I worked at TUFCO [Technologies, Inc]for six months doing paper converting type work and had a hard time getting used to the shift work and overslept way too many times.
BROOKS: What shift were you working?
GRIGG: Swing shift. One week it was first, next week it was second, next week itwas third and it was like, "Okay, what shift am I on now?" 01:01:00
BROOKS: Was there anything about the Army that you missed when you were out?
GRIGG: The people mostly I think. I don't know the camaraderie you'd call,maybe, because everybody does the same kinda sorta. It's kinda why I got involved in the Artists for the Humanities to be around other veterans that are going through things, if I can help them or they can help me some way that--I like to do that sort of thing I guess. Actually belong to Chapter Three Disabled American Veterans [DAV] and actually I'm on the honor [inaudible] for them. We 01:02:00do funerals.
BROOKS: How did you get involved with that?
GRIGG: They were looking for volunteers and "I'll get involved. Try and getinvolved in something, try and meet people." I'm disabled so it's hard to--you're on your own all the time, you don't meet people or be around people a lot I guess.
BROOKS: So have you sorted everything out with your benefits then, for the most part?
BROOKS: That's good.
GRIGG: Things are looking up, we were able to save the house--took a lot though.Actually my mother-in-law, her husband ran a bar for--from '92 to--he passed 01:03:00away in March of 2003 and my mother-in-law tried to do it for about a year and then she--once he was gone she couldn't do it no more, had no interest in being there so my wife and I took it over and managed it for a while. The owner of the building trying to get rid of his--at one point in time he owned I don't know how many bars on Broadway and he was trying to get rid of them and he wouldn't rent to us. The only way I could stay there was if I bought the building. I bought the building on a land contract and tried doing that for two years but once the smoking ban went through business just went--we lost the business. But it was getting to be way too much for me any way, my disabilities and stuff I couldn't handle it no more so it was a good thing. Things happen for a reason. 01:04:00
BROOKS: And how did you get involved with Artists for the Humanities?
GRIGG: Through the counselors at the VA. Pam--I don't know how to say her lastname--she's been to there a few times and she's actually trying to help them get it moved to the VA but I don't know, the VA is--they go their paperwork or red tape that you've gotta go through and just hard to get it done over there I guess because--they offer a lot of different groups and stuff like they have a PTSD group, they have substance abuse groups, and they have coping skills class. 01:05:00I started going to that and with talking to my individual counselor she recommended that I check this out --"You might like it" --and I liked it. Most of the guys have PTSD really bad. I may have a little bit but haven't been diagnosed at all. I'm a different era than them and I look at things a little bit different that they do so maybe I can help a little bit by being there. Tim's a good guy. It's not long enough though. It should meet more often, like once a week versus the once a month thing because if something comes up and you can't make it then.
BROOKS: How long have you been going?01:06:00
GRIGG: Probably about close to two years.
BROOKS: Do you remember the first session you went to?
BROOKS: Can you tell me about it a bit?
GRIGG: I didn't really know what to do--artwork and stuff. [inaudible] When Iwas a kid I used to draw cars and trucks so I drew a truck--didn't really talk about it because I was there to see what it was all about. Been going back ever since unless I can't make it for some reason or another. But I think maybe in the two years I've been going I've probably missed maybe three times.
BROOKS: What do you usually draw?
GRIGG: At one point in time when I was getting ready to go down for my account01:07:00physical and stuff I did a--drew a picture of how I was before all my disabilities came about and how my life was and how it is afterwards. It helped me to talk to doctors--helped me talk to doctors the way I needed to talk to them to get my point across I guess. The comp and physical I had before that one, I went down and the doctor was talking to me more about fishing than he was talking to me about my health concerns. I guess he figured because I was able to fish that I was able to find gainful employment too. Fishing once in a while and working a forty hour a week job is totally different.
BROOKS: When you do you artwork, what medium do you usually use?01:08:00
GRIGG: More of a drawer I guess. Last time I was there I did--I went throughbiofeedback down at Milwaukee VA which is pretty interesting too. And there was a grid thing that looked like different squares with colors and it looked like it was actually coming out of the picture sort of thing so I tried to do that last time I was there. [inaudible] I drew my career in the army in the order it went at one point in time just to show the guys--they wanted to know. Sometimes you go there and it's like, "Well what do I draw? What do I do?" You don't think about it too much until you get there and spend more time thinking about it than 01:09:00working on it and before you know it it's time to clean up.
BROOKS: Do you usually share afterwards?
BROOKS: Do you get anything out of that?
GRIGG: Yeah. And hopefully some of the other guys get something out of it too.I've seen guys go from being where they can barely even talking about what their problems are to actually starting to share and talk and just kinda--good to see I guess. Makes you feel good when you know if you can put your two cents in I guess and hopefully help them out.
BROOKS: What do you think you get out of it?
GRIGG: I get to socialize and I get to look at other people and think well maybe01:10:00my situation isn't so bad. If I'm struggling with something at the time or--
BROOKS: And it's mostly Vietnam veterans that--
GRIGG: Mostly there's been other ones that have come once in a while, some ofthem were involved one point in time earlier and something made them go back, they were only there once and they didn't come back again, so.
BROOKS: Do you think there's any reason why younger veterans aren't attending itas much?
GRIGG: I don't think a lot of them know about it or they don't realize they needthe help. I think that's one of the biggest things is you're trained to adapt and overcome, make--solve your own situations, and so it's hard to ask for help. 01:11:00
BROOKS: When did you first realize that you might need some type of help?
GRIGG: I don't know. I've been seeing counselors on and off since 2001 and justby going to the coping skills stuff, I thought "Well, maybe this might help too." I've always been--have a hard time expressing my feelings. That's kind of helped me with some of that stuff.
BROOKS: Do you have a favorite thing that you've done?
GRIGG: Not really--it's not long enough. You start working on something and it01:12:00might take you three months to fix it--finish it and sometimes it's like "I started it, why bring it back and work on something like that now?" I've kind of forgotten about it over the month.
BROOKS: Do you ever bring anything home to work on?
GRIGG: I bring my stuff home because the first time I left stuff there it gotlost and it took me a whole--almost a whole session just to find my work and start working on it so I bring my stuff home, keep it here.
BROOKS: Do you work on it at all here?
GRIGG: No--too much other things going on. I'm still trying to arrange mymother-in-laws stuff--we still have her stuff is here. She moved out in 2009 or 2010, I can't remember, and got her own apartment. She's disabled and my wife is 01:13:00disabled and I'm disabled so it's kinda--you do so much and then you're sore.
BROOKS: How much do you talk to your family about your experiences in the armyand about your art?
GRIGG: Not a whole lot. Talk to my wife about it, I don't really talk to my kidstoo much about it.
BROOKS: Do you think you'll talk to them more as they get older?
GRIGG: I don't know. They don't really seem too interested in it I guess.
BROOKS: How old are they now?
GRIGG: Almost thirty and almost twenty-nine. My daughter will be twenty-nine onthe 20th and my son will be thirty in January. I have five grandchildren from 01:14:00the ages of ten to a year and a half.
GRIGG: Plus we had one that was born an angel.
BROOKS: How do you like being a grandpa?
GRIGG: Love it. Watch my daughter's kids three days a week and the youngest onegets out the car and "papa" makes my day every day. Always been--I don't know, a kid lover I guess. Something about the way they are. I've always--not too many guys babysit when they're teenagers and I started babysitting for this one couple that lived one the corner and when I got tired of babysitting my brother 01:15:00took over. They borrowed him money--first, I think he bought a guitar, babysat that off. Then he bought a car and babysat that off.
BROOKS: Pretty sweet deal.
GRIGG: And when he was done babysitting my sister took over. The son lived onthe corner, next door to his father and there was a big old plot in between and since then the son has built a house next to grandpa's house and grandpa passed away so dad moved into grandpa's house and his daughter lives in his old house--the three of them live one-two-three.
BROOKS: Wow, that's neat. So when is the next Artists for the Humanities session?
GRIGG: Next Thursday.
BROOKS: Do you know what you're going to--are you working on something now? Or01:16:00are you going to start something new?
GRIGG: Start something new I think. Kind of--[moves away from recorder] I'llshow you the piece I was working on last time, I got it right here. [sound of paper]
BROOKS: Oh, okay.
GRIGG: The different colors and stuff make it--can almost rise--
BROOKS: This was from the bio scan you said?
GRIGG: From what?
BROOKS: From the bio scan, is that what this is from?
BROOKS: Oh, biofeedback.
GRIGG: It was something similar to this, it was just like a little piece ofpaper--it was kind of wavy looking.
BROOKS: And what is a biofeedback?
GRIGG: Its--they hook up electrodes like if you were going for an EKG and it hasto do with teaching you how to breathe right. I had a lot of pain in my shoulders and they hooked these monitors up to you and you can actually see on 01:17:00the computer by moving in different ways it makes the electricity level go down in those muscles. And if you do certain things it can make them go up. It teaches you how to control your motions and your breathing--kind of like a meditation thing. But this was just something she had in her office and I said, "That's kind of neat looking." That's what I was trying to go for here.
BROOKS: Why do you think you decided to work on that?
Grigg: I was trying to make a collage thing and I went to look for scissors andthere were only two pairs of scissors in the whole place. So I couldn't find scissors to work on what I wanted to work on so that's why I ended up working on this.
BROOKS: When it's done will all of the squares be colored in?
BROOKS: I like it.01:18:00
GRIGG: Just draw a line there, draw a line here.
GRIGG: Color this one in this way.
BROOKS: Seems like it would be kind of soothing to work on in terms of coloringit in. What do you think about--have you had a chance to see the exhibit down in Madison?
GRIGG: No, I haven't. I want to get down here to see--until May is it?
BROOKS: End of April.
GRIGG: End of April.
BROOKS: Do you know if you have any pieces in there, I know it's a little--
GRIGG: I don't think I have any pieces in there.
BROOKS: I know a lot of them are anonymous so I wouldn't know if they were yours.
GRIGG: But the big dragon one is one of the guys that goes to our group.
BROOKS: Yeah, Jim? Yeah I'm going to interview him next.
GRIGG: Are you?
BROOKS: Yeah, this afternoon.
GRIGG: That will be an interesting interview. He's one of the ones that didn'tsay a whole lot when I first started going there and I guess when he first 01:19:00starting going there he spent most of his time just pacing back and forth and walking around the room not knowing what to do. I've seen him come from so far. I'm not--I don't know, I'm not supposed to talk about that stuff I guess but he's just--what the group has done for him is just amazing.
BROOKS: Yeah I'm looking forward to talking with him and he said there waspiece--he went down to Madison recently, he said there's apiece that really spoke to him so I'd like to talk with him about what the piece is and you should definitely come and check out the exhibit.
GRIGG: I'll come down there and check it out.
BROOKS: What do you think about the exhibit in general, what do you think you'dwant people to take away from visiting?
GRIGG: [pause] I don't know how to put it in to words. People went out and01:20:00served their country and now they're suffering with their demons I guess. Just make aware the public that that kind of thing is going on I guess. Lot of people out there fighting with experiences they've been through and this is there to help them. Like I said with Jim--I've seen him come a long ways. Probably two years I've been there and he's not there every time and I'm not there every time but he's--when I first started going he wouldn't even talk hardly. Then he found a picture of someplace he'd been at some time and that I guess made him start 01:21:00thinking, I don't know. Hopefully the veterans that go through there maybe they can realize that maybe "Hey, maybe I could use this. Get some help." Tim says down at King [Veterans Home] a lot of people that attend, it's mandatory so--stuff is--you're told its mandatory fun which usually isn't fun. [laughs] They have like a party every year for your unit or whatever and "Well, you have to go." "What if I don't want to go?" "You have to go. Everybody's got to go."
BROOKS: Mandatory fun
GRIGG: Mandatory fun day.
BROOKS: Is there anything else you'd want people who see the exhibit or who01:22:00might hear your interview about what it means to serve and life after service?
GRIGG: [pause] I think once you've served in a group with people that are[inaudible] basically, 95 percent of them would do it again. But if you need help don't be afraid to ask for it. There's help out there and if you don't ask for it, you're not going to get it.
BROOKS: Would you do it again?01:23:00
GRIGG: I'd do it again. Even if I knew everything that I was going to have to gothrough, I'd still do it again.
BROOKS: Why do you think that is?
Grigg: I don't know why that is. My thought actually is--Korea you have to do, Ithink, two and half years in the service if you're male--I don't about female in particular--but if you're male. I think everybody should have to do it here too. Because it--one thing, it makes you grow up. Makes you realize that the stupid shit you're doing as a kid is stupid stuff. Makes you grow up, makes you respect 01:24:00people, makes you work together. If you don't work together when you're in combat or something, you gotta work together otherwise may not come home that way. May not come home anyway but you got a better chance of accomplishing your mission and getting done what you gotta get done. The respect and teamwork kind of thing is instilled in you. [pause] Guess that's why I do the funeral because I can't be in the Army anymore so help pay respect to veterans and give them what they got coming.
BROOKS: Do you have any plans for Veterans Day on Wednesday?01:25:00
GRIGG: My granddaughter's school does a little coffee and cookies and then they[phone rings] have--they do like a--they sing songs, patriotic veterans songs and they hand each veteran a thank you card and a--every year you get a different little button and one year it was like a statue of liberty, a flag and "Proud to be a veteran." or something on there.
BROOKS: That's very sweet.
GRIGG: This'll be my fourth year I think, going.
BROOKS: How many veterans usually are there?
GRIGG: I'd say fifteen to twenty probably, if not more. Close to thirty even,01:26:00might be. Tomorrow there's--they're doing a ceremony at McCormick Nursing Home for the veterans that are in the nursing home. I'm going to present the colors and play "Taps" and do twenty-one gun salute I think. That's tomorrow, but actually for Veterans Day they got [inaudible] "Well it's Veterans Day, it's our day so why are you have to plan all these ceremonies on Veterans Day?" Last year I went to--I think it's the Patriotic Society has like a speaker and I think they do coffee and snacks at the Resch Center, or Shopko Hall I think it is. I'm 01:27:00probably going to check that out again Wednesday.
BROOKS: Sounds like a busy day--busy week.
GRIGG: Even busier next week.
GRIGG: Because of Thanksgiving, the art is the third Thursday of the month butbecause Thanksgiving our DAV meeting got moved up too. And then I have--I'm involved in a move group, it's to help lose weight and cause I'm pre-diabetic right now and I don't want to become diabetic so I'm trying to get on a better diet and trying to get some kind of exercise in every day.
BROOKS: Is that through the VA?
BROOKS: How far is the VA from here?
GRIGG: I don't know. About ten minutes. Well, ten minutes when--I don't know the01:28:00new highway I don't know how it's going to be 'cause right now you gotta take Velp all the way up to Atkinson so it takes another extra five minutes so it's about fifteen minutes away. Where, jump on the highway I can be there in five, ten minutes. I guess then it's wait and see if there's an on-ramp from Velp to 43.
BROOKS: Exciting. Well, I don't think I have any more questions but is thereanything we didn't talk about that you wanted to touch on.
GRIGG: I think we've pretty much covered everything that--
GRIGG: When I was stationed in Virginia we did a joint training exercise down inFlorida with the Navy and the Air Force, it was actually we went down there we 01:29:00were staying on an Air Force base down there and I forget--getting ready to go I think I got an hour's worth of sleep the night before we left and drove truck all the way and then--first night we stopped at Fort Bragg and one of our trucks had to be worked on and they had to have someone there with the truck so I ended up spending most of the night with the truck so I got like--finally about five o'clock I think I climbed up in the cab of the truck and laid down inside the truck and fell asleep for like an hour and a half, then drove all day the next day. I was so tired that I was driving and the hum of the engine--I don't know if I was hypnotized or what but all of a sudden I look and the whole convoy's getting off on this exit and I missed it. I had the MPs [Military Police] chasing me in their jeeps and turned around right in the median of the highway, 01:30:00went back to the exit rather than going all the way down to the next--who knows where the next off-ramp would have been? There's me and the MPs driving our tactical vehicles through the field in the middle of the highway.
BROOKS: Did you get in trouble?
GRIGG: Nope. Same trip down there I guess some of the guys put CBs [Citizen Bandradios] in their trucks and were going through downtown Atlanta during rush hour and we're in the fast lane, going forty-five, thirty-five, forty-five, thirty-five. The truckers were getting mad I guess. Why we were in the fast lane I have no clue. Some lieutenant that probably didn't know what he was doing. Some of the humorous stuff that you experience. I think we've talked about 01:31:00everything. I had to take a motor pool pickup truck to Domino's pizza a couple of times when we were down there. [laughter]
BROOKS: When you were in Florida?
BROOKS: Well, you gotta eat I guess.
GRIGG: Platoon sergeant sent us. Ended up getting a pizza for free because theyovercooked it a little bit, the cheese was a little burnt on top. "That's not what we wanted." So we get the burnt one plus we get that the platoon sergeant had ordered so we got free pizza for us.
Grigg: I think that's all I really got to say I guess.
BROOKS: All right. Well I can turn the recorders off and if you think ofsomething else, I can always turn them back on. All right.