The abbreviation my Uncle’s Army used to describe "Expiration – Term of Service" was E.T.S. Using the Army’s phonetic alphabet, Echo Tango Sierra. Of course, some G.I. somewhere is going to bastardize the Army’s well-designed acronym/abbreviation. This one caught on. Echo Tango Suitcase.
Soldiers close to their E.T.S. date and those close to their P.C.S. (Permanent Change of Station) date were called “short-timers.” They would refer to themselves as “short.” “I’m so short, I play handball on the curb, I sit on a dime and dangle my feet” or “I can stand straight up, wearing a top hat and walk under a snake’s belly.” That’s short.
Right before departure, many G.I.s would tie laces together and throw their boots over a nearby power line. Three times I gave up a pair of boots to leave my mark and immortalize my term of service. I had to use a ladder and stand on the Sergeant Major’s shoulders. Short people can not throw very high.
I need a picture that is somehow related to the subject of today‘s da6d Ramblin'. How about this one, eh? Let me explain. When talking about home in the U.S.A., we often referred to the U.S. as "The Land of the Round Doorknob." A lot of European doors have handles. Here's a picture of a round doorknob.
Empty the suitcase
That day, Uncle Sam and I
Said, “Good-bye,” for good