At 6 feet, 6 inches tall, David Steinberg was used to standing head and shoulders above everyone else during his high school years in Buffalo Center.
His height almost deterred him from being accepted by the Army in 1968. The average height for men at that time was about 5 feet, 8 inches.
“I had to have a second physical because they assumed I was too tall for the draft,” he said. “After that, they said they’d take me.”
Then 20, Steinberg spent a year in southern Vietnam, stationed with the First Signal Brigade at the Long Binh military base.
As a clerk typist and someone who drove jeeps, he didn’t experience a lot of combat.
“While there were incoming rounds, we were in more of a safer area,” Steinberg said.
Although his winter holidays were spent 8,300 miles from his hometown, Steinberg was able to reconnect with two other men from Buffalo Center.
“It was weird, but it was the neatest thing,” he said.
While in the military, Steinberg was able to spend his weeklong R&R in Australia, visiting Sydney and the Blue Mountains. He says being among people taller than 5 feet was a highlight of the trip.
After returning home, Steinberg worked at Winnebago and attended college before working as a postmaster for 30 years.
While he had little difficulty adjusting to life back home, Steinberg says he sometimes wonders why he survived and an acquaintance — Bobby Davis, who had a wife and son in Forest City — was killed in action.
“I guess there’s a time and reason for things,” he said.
Now retired four years and living in Leon, he divides his time between his herd of 130 Angora goats and working as a substitute paraprofessional.