62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol

 


OFF DUTY TIME

 
by  Lawson Stevens

 

 

 

My tour of duty with Detachment A of the 62nd Highway Patrol was one of the best periods of my life, for sure. At the Bamberg Sub Station, we usually worked in pairs, with twenty-four hours on, and forty-eight off. Of course, being off didn't really mean that, as all the off duty patrolmen had a full day's work ahead, most days, to take care of the vehicles and our equipment.

 

It goes without saying, that we were all proud of being in the Highway Patrol, and it showed in the way we turned out for duty. The patrol cars were washed and cleaned after each use, and frequently polished. And, the emergency equipment in the trunk would be checked over to make sure it was clean and complete. We all worked together taking care of this, and it didn't take us that long.

 

It was the individual equipment that really took the time, particularly the spit shining of our leather - our boots, belt, shoulder strap and holster. It usually turned into friendly competition, and a great time for shooting the bull, as we often worked for hours to produce the best possible mirror shine. Each had his own technique of course, using water or after-shave to work in the polish, but the main ingredient was elbow grease and patience. We never had to be told to do it; our station commander just knew it would be done.

 

Our uniforms were also kept cleaned and pressed, and different techniques were used to blouse and weight our pants legs to maintain the shape and crease. Some used strong rubber bands, and others added chain or cardboard too. Brasso was used in plenty on our metal-ware, and buffed up to perfection. When we left for our tour of duty, we did look sharp, but by the end of the day, the uniforms would look as worn out as we usually were.

 

Our days off weren't all work though. There was always time to go to the PX or the snack bar, and do other personal stuff. And in time honored Army tradition, pay day was something special, and everything was relaxed. I'm not sure at the time, we realized how good we had it. But I do now, and look back on those days with fond memories.

 

 

 


This story previously appeared in Volume # 8, Issue # 4, July-August 2005 edition of "The White Mice"


 

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