When you include the time he spent in the reserves, Bob Cooper logged 42 and a half years in the U.S. Army.
His various postings included a stint in New Orleans and another at Fort Polk, just outside of Alexandria, La.
He retired as a sergeant major.
Cooper has lived in Sequim for the past 19 years.
❝New Orleans. That is quite a place. In 1951, we stayed at Camp Leroy Johnson, a POE (point of embarkation). We were instructors there. We were given some time off so we went into the city. The beer then was Evangeline. It was rot gut.
I met this wonderful young lady. I fell in love for two days.
I got back late and the master sergeant asked me where the hell I had been. ‘There was this girl …’ I said.
‘That’s enough,’ he said.
The one thing I know about those Cajuns — they can party.
(Sometime later) we were at Fort Polk and we received our orders. I was leaving for Korea. I wanted to see my parents before I left.
We — there were four of us — hailed a taxi to the train station. This taxi driver had a big old Olds 98. We told him we were going to Cleveland, Ohio. He asked how much the tickets were. We said $27.
He said, ‘I’ll take you there for $40.’
We said OK, so he called in. Said he was going to visit his sister. And the guy asked him, ‘Where does your sister live?’
He said Cleveland, Ohio.
Man, that guy could drive. That thing went 80 miles an hour.