First off, thank you to my brothers & sisters in arms. It was an honor to serve for & with you.
I came of age in the late 1960s/early 1970s. At that time, it was ‘fashionable’ to be against the draft. Draft cards were burnt along with bras. Only I didn’t buy into it. In 1972, my first year of high school, I was in the Navy JROTC. But my father was at the end of his Navy career, he retired and we returned to Maine. No more JROTC for me.
So I completed high school, went on to a year of college, returned to a year of being an apprentice shoe cutter and knew this wasn’t the right path for me. In June of 1978, I saw an ad for an electronic technician for the Andover Maine earth ground station. The qualifications were simple, either a two year technical college degree or three years military experience. In hind sight, I wonder if being a licensed amateur radio operator would have been equivalent.
So I joined the Air Force and spent the next twenty one years serving. Turkey, Arizona, Wyoming, The Netherlands, West Germany, North Dakota & Alabama. Highlights included being in Turkey, on duty, during the night of the failed Iranian hostage rescue mission, being competitively selected as the best Missile Radio Maintenance Team in SAC, being consistently promoted ahead of my year group & capstoning my career as an Academic Instructor at the USAF Senior NCO Academy – teaching military studies, communication skills, leadership & management.
But others served well beyond me. For them, I remain grateful for their service & sacrifice.