Joyeux Noel

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319th Station Hospital, Bussac, France 1957

My first Christmas away from home came within five months of my arrival overseas at a US Army duty station where I would spend the next two years.

Arriving there culminated a disruptive series of events.  Following schooling in New York, I had served a brief stint at the Pentagon, and six months at Vint Hill Farms Station in Virginia.  I’d gone home on a pass to spend Christmas with my family in 1956.

Then came the deployment overseas to the 319th Station Hospital in mid-summer.  It was culture shock from day one.  Our flight across the Atlantic on a Flying Tiger aircraft included some serious engine problems at 20,000 feet.  My buddies and I had hardly breathed a sigh of relief at our safe landing, when we were herded onto a crowded French train.  At the end of a long ride from Paris…

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