Archive for the ‘joining the Navy’ Category

joining the Navy

September 26, 2006

I enlisted in the United States Navy in April 1969. I was still 17 and was enlisted in a reserve program until I reached 18-turned 18 and about two weeks later I was standing in a huge auditorium in Camp Hollibird in Baltimore-there were thousands of guys there going into the marines and the army and the navy. I’ve often wondered how many of them did not return home except in a casket?

I was glad this was happening. It was a fresh start and I knew that in the service we would all be equal-to a degree,seeing the officers and the enlisted men would all know thier places-there would be no status as who shopped where or who has what style of clothes-every one knew thier place. And the opportunity would be wonderful-to be on a ship and to see foriegn lands. It did not matter to me there was the war-that was what it was all about-defending your country and flag and the Constitution,which one of my ancesters signed . John Witherspoon …so this was going to be a new life and I would bust my butt and show my family there was’nt any thing wrong with me…that I was good.

I saw the Viet Nam war from a different angle-from the kitchen table on the portable TV set. Every evening watching the days slain be shown on the screen to pay respects to them. They all looked like me in thier high school senior photos,young and with big ears and the various shapes and sizes of thier faces,all of them looked like me.

So, going to boot camp was a trip of deep thought about would my life be taken in the war and is this it? We almost did’nt make it to boot camp because one of the recruits in our group made a stupid joke about hijacking the plane to Great Lakes and he almost got us all ejected fromthe plane for that remark….the first Cuba hijacking had just taken place and was fresh on everyones minds , the stewardess did not see his joke as funny.

We got there at around 0200,and got our bunks-only to be in them for about an hour when the screaming DI and his crew came in screaming thier heads off-scareing the life out of us…and getting us up for our first morning of boot camp.

The rest another day.