The Norman Transcript

Columns

September 26, 2013

Veteran is now professor emeritus

NORMAN — Bob Goins was born in 1929 in a house on Gray Street where the post office is now. He attended Wilson Elementary School, where his father was the janitor. His mother would pack his lunch and, during lunch break, he would go to the boiler rom and have lunch with his dad.

He considered that a great treat. When he got a little older, he would stay after school and help his dad sweep out and walk home with him.

Goins enrolled in the University of Oklahoma in 1947 in architecture. All male students at the time were required to take at least two years of ROTC. Bob took the next two years of Advanced ROTC because the Army paid him; he was commissioned at the end of the four years. (The architecture degree was a five-year program, so he still didn’t have his degree.)

When the Korean War broke out he was sent to Ft. Belvoir, Va., for basic officer training. He was in the 44th Engineering Combat Group. He was eventually assigned to the 44th Engineering Combat Group located near Pusan, Korea. His unit built docks, airfields, roads and supply depots for the U.S. Eighth Army. He started out as the junior officer in the unit but eventually became the company commander for about nine months.

Goins said that, being engineers, his unit had some amenities other units didn’t have, such as hot showers because they had access to supplies and could build their own facilities.

He learned early on that the army is run by sergeants. At the time, Goins was 22 or 23 years old, his unit had a first sergeant who had been a permanent master sergeant longer than Goins had been alive.

The mess sergeant managed, by trading whiskey with other units, to feed his company better than most. When the supply sergeant got weather siding for his jeep, several higher ranking officers were irritated because they didn’t have such siding.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014