Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Long ago and far away....

The geezer at age 17
  August 28, 1958, 54 years ago today I joined the Navy for the first time; other enlistment followed.  I was a 17 year old high school graduate and 1958 was another of those years without many jobs around.  Besides there not being jobs to begin with, the employers were hesitant to hire somebody who would be draft eligable in less than six months -- so I went to the Navy recruiter, didn't bother with the others, got my mother to sign a permission (I wasn't 18) and joined the Navy.
  I had no idea what lay ahead of me.  I told my mother I would make the Navy a career and she kind of just laughed -- didn't think it would happen.  I re-enlisted three months before my 21st birthday.
  Dad drove me to Sanford (Maine) on his way to work, and the recruiter drove me and a couple of others to Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, it's now Fort Williams Park; where Portland Head Light is located.  After a short physical we were lined up and took the oath.  We were bussed to Boston and flown, with recruits from all over New England, to Chicago.  At Chicago a Navy bus picked us up and drove the plane load to the Recruit Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois.  By then it was about 2:00AM, we were taken to a barracks, given a bunk took a nap and up at 6:00AM and the lines started.  Lines for chow, lines to see a dentist, lines to be issued uniforms and stencil them (how 'bout that Wilbur?), haircuts, and some other stuff too.  Welcome to the United States Navy, the best group I was even in.
The geezer 18 years later.

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