21. September 2004 · Comments Off on Formal Introduction · Categories: General

Sixteen newbies?? Wow! I’m honored to be one of them (and a little awed/humbled, as well).

My dad was a Marine, wounded in the Korean Conflict. My uncle was a Marine, during the Vietnam War (but never went to Vietnam). My other uncle was a Marine, after Korea but before Vietnam. My brother joined the Marines in 1973, but didn’t graduate Boot Camp due to health issues.

When I graduated high school, Dad wanted me to join the Marines. I went to college.

But I noticed during my freshman year that I usually needed more money than I had. At that time, the National Guard was offering enlistment bonuses or tuition assistance, and there was a Guard Armory directly across the highway from my school, so I talked to a recruiter. He had been a Marine, and volunteered for duty in Vietnam. Twice. He left Vietnam on a stretcher both times.

So you can just imagine his reaction when we were working through the questions he had to ask me, and one of them was ‘Are you a pacifist?”. He glared at me when I answered “yes.” The next question was “Are you a Conscientious Objector?” He was shocked when I said “No.” In his mind, those 2 items were intertwined. I explained that while I don’t really think that fighting solves anything, usually, and should be a last resort type of option, I had a very healthy survival instinct. Sometimes fights are necessary. He accepted that, and before too long I was a signed and sworn member of the Indiana Army National Guard.

I owe the state of Indiana a huge debt of gratitude for not only helping to finance my education, but for giving me such a good unit to belong to. We were only weekend warriors, but I still miss them, sometimes, and it’s been over 20 years since I left that unit.

After graduation, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t want to endure officer training (I’m not very athletic), but I didn’t mind the thought of spending some time on active duty. The Air Force recruiter was friendlier and less brusque than the Army recruiter was, so I joined the Air Force as a Personnel Specialist in 1984. That had also been my MOS in the National Guard.

Seven years later, I was at another crossroads point, and I decided to leave the Air Force when my enlistment ended. They were good years, spent in Idaho, Belgium, and San Antonio. All 3 were places I’d always wanted to go. Fairbanks however, was not. So in 1991 I left the blue suit behind and started looking for work. I had moved from Personnel to Personnel Systems (the computer side of the field) in 1989, so when I separated, I found a job working with a computer software company. From there I went to a company that installed networks, and from there to a technical training company.

FINALLY, a huge light bulb lit up over my head. This training thing – it’s fun. I really enjoy it! So I’m now a technical trainer, and have had lots of fun working for a variety of different companies, in many different locations.

I’m currently “between companies,” and filling in the time by getting my M.Ed. in Adult Education, and surfing the ‘net. I have 2 elderly roommates, both with four legs. One is a retired racing Greyhound brood mama named Angie, and the other is an Italian Greyhound named Jessie. Both of them enrich my life in ways that I’d never imagined.

So that’s me. 🙂

Comments closed.