My name is Donald Shook and welcome to I enlisted in the Army under the Delayed Entry Program 5 days after graduating high school in 1984. I went to Basic Training at Ft Benning in November of 1984 and was with B-8-2 during basic training at "Harmony Church" (old WWII barracks that were at Ft Benning at the time), they are no longer there and were to say the least, outdated... Gravel pits and all.

We were one of the first "COHORT" battalions in the history of the US Army. We stayed at Ft Benning for AIT and our new cadre from Ft Ord (7th Infantry) came to train us while we were in AIT. The neat thing about basic was that we wore the 7th Infantry Division patch the whole time that we were in basic training because of the fact that we were a "COHORT" unit.

After graduation, we all loaded up on planes and flew to California, where we would now be the 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry (LIGHT). I was assigned to be part of 1st Platoon, B-4-17 and how lucky we must have felt when we got to "Planet Ord" and discovered that we would be housed in almost the identical, open bay, WWII barracks. I would stay with 1st platoon until my ETS in 1988. Our first year at Ft Ord was pretty busy, we were in the field about 10 months out of that first year (things didn't change too much the following years.)

My time with the 7th Infantry Division was some of the best years of my life. I did some pretty crazy things, went to some amazing places, and met a lot of great people! Although I was glad to go at the time, I will never forget what I was a part of and will always be proud to have served with the units that I did.