BEALLSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) – Two years out of school, Vincent Lucido was desperate to find a job. 

One day farm work wasn’t going as planned, so he and a buddy decided to join the Army almost on a whim. This was in 1963.

I was having a bad day working on equipment. Nothing would work right. My buddy pulled in and said ‘let’s join the Army’. Alright, let’s go. That’s’ how we did it.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran.

Lucido said what followed, was an adventure. 

At the recruiting station, they were hoping to join on a “buddy plan”. However, Lucido’s friend wanted to be in the airborne division.

That recruiter asked me and I said ‘no I’m not jumping out of airplanes’.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran.

Lucido decided on the artillery and first was sent to Fort Knox for basic training. His friend who he hoped to enlist with was there too, but Lucido saw him only once in eight-weeks.

Next, it was Fort Sill, Oklahoma for artillery training before being stationed in Germany. Lucido’s first stop was Schwäbisch Gmünd.

We were getting new guns. We had these old eight-inch howitzers called M-55s. They looked like a big tank and we moved all that to Nuremburg.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran.

Luciso spent most of his service in Nuremburg, completing different training and doing several jobs. He went to German language school, arms school and special weapons school and weapons assembly school, to name a few.

He recalled that Merrell Barracks was a large place with about 5,000 people living on the base including two artillery units, an armor unit, a maintenance unit and part of an aviation unit.

After his first year working on guns, Lucido went after an arms man job.

We had this big inspection on base and I had the best arms room on the base and that’s how I got promoted to E4.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran

Lucido also had top-secret clearance to work on a few projects.

The nine-inch Howitzer had atomic warheads, atomic capability and that was like you had to be really top secret and all that kind of stuff. I sucked up to them and said ‘I’d like to have this job’. So, we went and talked to the First Sergeant and he said ‘do you think you can handle it?’ and I said ‘I handled the arms room’.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran

Lucido said one of his biggest missions was not military, it was personal. As a first-generation Italian in America, he wanted to find his extended family in Italy, which turned in to quite the adventure.

He had their addresses, but not a map, and not much of an idea how to make it to their Italian farm.

Finally I said the heck with it. Just give me a ticket to Rome. There’s a woman behind me and tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘what’s the matter?’. I said ‘what do you mean?’. She said ‘no courageous, Columbus found America he didn’t have a map. You’re not going to find your aunts and uncles?’ I was like give me a ticket to Sicily.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran

With the help of a few kind people on the train and a cab driver willing to take him to his final destination, Lucido was able to surprise his relatives at their home. Although he wasn’t fluent in Italian, Lucido was able to communicate with his aunt upon arrival.

She hollered and got everybody up there, her husband, her sons, their wives, grandchildren. It was a bunch of people.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran

Lucido spent some time with his relatives, including taking a trip to Rome, before his leave was up and he returned to base.

This wasn’t the first time traveling while he was enlisted. Lucido also made trips to Amsterdam, Barcelona, France and Switzerland.

I’d go to Greek places, Turkish places, different places. The beer was cheaper. The atmosphere was better. You’d get to meet people and talk to people. It was a lot of fun.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran

With his service coming to an end, Lucido had to make a choice; to stay in or go home.

My re-up talk was we’ll give you a promotion to E5, send you to Vietnam and you can get a combat ribbon. No thanks, I don’t need that.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran

So, he was discharged from the Army and came home.

I considered it a job, an adventure. It was something. I learned a lot of stuff.

Vincent Lucido, Veteran

Once back in the Ohio Valley, Lucido had several jobs throughout his career including working on a loading dock in Canton, at The Timken Company, at Ormet and in the coal mines.