Jon S. Levinson
Private First Class, U.S. Army
PFC Levinson was 23 when he was drafted in 1960 and was stationed at Fort Ord for 2 years. He served as a Chaplain’s Assistant and Supply Clerk.
In the third week of Basic Training at Ft. Ord, Levinson was called out of class and told that a sergeant would be his driver and that he was to put on his Class A’s and report ot the Jewish Chapel. The base Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Livazer, was ill and Levinson was chosen to conduct services and preside over the Shabbat meal! This was no small service either. At least 40 to 50 attendees were at services since they served the Naval Post graduate School and the Army Language School in Monterey. Levinson described it as,
a very heady experience for a lowly recruit. From then on the Sgts in my unit were a little more circumspect in their language and would ask me all sorts of questions about Judasim. I was the only Jew in the Company. Yeshivah and Hebrew School paid off.
PFC Levinson aslo served temporary duty at the Army chemical Testing Center at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. He jokingly talks about receiving two commendations for “service above and beyond duty for volunteeering to be a guinea pig at the center.”
The Levinson family has a righ tradition of military service that continues to this day. Jon’s father was in the Navy during Wold War I and his oldest son is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and was just promoted to Lt. Col at his post in Washington.