native of Giltner served with Elvis in the 3rd Armored Division | Local news from the Big Island


“As far as I’m concerned, he was just a good farm boy from Tennessee,” he said.

Hinrichs ran into Presley in a hallway of the ship. But it was not unusual. “It’s not hard to run into someone on a ship,” Hinrichs said. Presley probably said “Excuse me” after making contact, Hinrichs said.

Hinrichs was in the military from 1958 to 1960. He spent a year and a half at Drake-Edwards base.

The movie “GI Blues” was released in 1960. A soldier in the Hinrichs barracks played one of Presley’s friends in the movie. When the movie came out, Hinrichs recognized some of the exteriors featured in the movie.

After basic training, Hinrichs was sent to Fort Gordon, Ga., Where soldiers marched daily. Presley was never stationed at Fort Gordon, but his presence in the military was well known.

As they marched, the soldiers sang cadenzas. One of them said, “RA, RA, don’t feel sad, Elvis has to do it too. The “do it” referred to walking.

Presley received special treatment in the military. The officers made him a squad leader, so he had his own little room, instead of sleeping in the barracks.

Giltner’s Jerry Hinrichs and Elvis Presley both served in the Army’s 3rd Armored Division, known as the “spearhead”. Presley and Hinrichs both wore this patch on their shoulders. To the right is Giltner’s army shirt.

Independent / Jeff Bahr

Hinrichs grew up a mile east and a half south of Giltner.

In 1957 he graduated from Giltner High School, where he practiced football, basketball and track and field.


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