My navy career started out at a recruiter office in 1963 at Ellsworth Kansas. At eighteen they gave me a bus ticket to Great Lakes Naval Training Center.
I had spent the last five to seven years at St. Francis Boys home in Kansas. If I remember right we had about twenty boys living there. The ages ranged from six or seven to eighteen. We all considered each of us as brothers.
We attended the county school, played all sports, attended all events just like all of the kids did.
Father Peter Francis made sure we had everything any kid could want an more.
My twenty years in the Navy took me from an eighteen year old to a thirty seven year old adult. The Navy taught me a lot about life in general, let me go to many places and met a lot of people. I enjoyed most of my duty stations. My career started out as an Fireman Apprentice (FA), Fireman (FN), Engineman (EN3), Gas Turbine Tech Mechanical (GSM3), (GSM2), (GSM1), (GSMC) and (GSCS). I was number three on Master Chiefs list but no open E9 slots were available in Norfolk Virginia only Mayport Florida, chose to retire. As a Senior Chief I was appointed to sit on the Chief board to select new E7. Earned My Air Crew wings as a black shoe while flying in Vietnam. Became a navy diver self contained (no mixed gas) to support the SES 100 ton experimental surface effect ship craft which I became the navy engineer.
Chesapeake Bay Deadrise Workboats
Fireman Apprentice to Senior Chief