Posted : Dec 11th 2010 7:51 PM
US Navy - Cushy Job
In my Junior year I was hanging around with Bill Piper. I think he was a Senior picking up some Junior classes. For scholastic reasons our talks eventually led to joining the military. Part of the criteria in the decision making was
1) Which would be the safest if we had to go to war
2) Which one had the shortest boot camp - we heard it was tough to get thru.
3) Which had the shortest enlistment
4) Could we go on the "Buddy Plan" where we would both get stationed together
We eventually decided on the Navy - 9 weeks of boot camp & if we were on a ship we would have big guns around us.
We signed up on the "buddy plan". I got mom & dad's ok & away we went for the physical -- good news / bad news I passed & he didn't.
I went ahead & signed on the dotted line & left for Boot camp in March of '61'- snow on the ground in Denver but sunny & 70 in San Diego --- Oh yeah life was good.
I thought Boot Camp was hard until I saw the Marines just across the way running double time with fully loaded packs & rifles. All we had to cary was a pencil & note pad to knot tieing & fire fighting classes.
I was stationed on a destroyer which was set aside for reserve training (weekend warriors). We had to go to sea one weekend a month (some manuevers & they were able to sell cigarettes for $1 a carton) & a 2 week cruise every year.
In '62' Kennedy called up the reserves for the Cuban Blocade & we made a 6 month WESPAC cruise -Hawaii, Guam, Midway, Phillipines, Kong Kong, Korea & Japan.
The worst part was that I spent most of my time below decks when we came into port. So I didnt get to see the most scenic parts - the coast line in.
Still not too bad.