GAG at the end of his tenure as County Judge of Cochran County – 1938
THE GRAHAMS’ OF COCHRAN COUNTY – CHAPTER 60
It took several days for me to be processed out of Korea and then I was transferred to Japan to board ship for the trip home. It is interesting to note that I departed Japan for the United States of America exactly 3 years after I left – April 22, 1951. The travel time on the ship was going to be fewer days because we would be traveling the “northern route”. Out destination was Seattle, Washington. The ship that I had boarded was the USNS General Leroy Eltinge. She was one of the ships that assisted in the Inchon Landing in September 1950. Now she was bringing me home. I have a list of about 650 men on the ship passenger roster that is growing brittle with age.
As we were coming through the channel approaching Seattle the night before we arrived we were told that there would be a car light welcoming party when we got to a certain area of the inlet. Indeed it happened with horns honking and lights flashing it seemed like hundreds of car and people inside were welcoming us home.
The trip seemed to pass pretty fast and the welcoming city of Seattle went all out to line the route where I trucks were passing from the ship to the Military Base. The first thing I noticed when I checked into the barracks was this funny picture tube that had motion pictures on it. Someone explained to me that it was called television. My first experience of seeing a television set. The clerks were busy getting each of us transportation back to our homes since all of us were getting a 30 day pass. They gave me a train ticket that took me to San Francisco and was to carry me to Los Angeles then a long journey from Los Angeles to El Paso and up to Lubbock, Texas. There was a train layover in San Francisco and I aborted my train ride and chose to fly instead. I had saved some money while overseas and had a Bank of America account. I went into the bank and told clerk that I would like to take some money out. He asked me what my account number was and I had no idea. He wanted to know if I had a blank check. I told him that I had never received any. I started looking in my wallet that had been through thick and thin on the battle fields of Korea and I did find a crumpled up deposit slip that I handed the fellow. He said that this was sufficient. “How much do you need” he asked. I think I told him about $500.00 so I could by the air ticket on Braniff.
I was able to catch a taxi out to the airport and get a flight to Denver, Colorado with a 12 hour layover. During the layover that I was able to get some rest in a place they had for GI’s who were in transit. The next morning I boarded my flight to Amarillo for a brief stop and then a landing at Lubbock airport. I had notified my family that I had changed plans and would not be coming in on the train that the Army and provided for me but to expect me on the Braniff flight. There must have been 20 to 30 family members waiting on me at the airport. The news media apparently noticed the large crowd. I went to the Drug Store that my parents operated and later that day I received a call for an interview. I also received a call from a lady who’s son was in Korea and she had not heard from him for awhile. She wanted to know if I knew him. She seemed disappointed when I told her I did not know her son.
I kept pinching myself to see if all this was real!!!