Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Time Long Ago

I have an unusual service background.

Two years of National Guard service Company I (Infantry, 104th Battalion, 26th (Yankee) Division. I was in the National Guard when the Korean Conflict began and almost immediately we were alerted that we stood likelihood of being sent to Korea in June or July 1950. It didn't happen that way and when I moved to Florida I became
vulnerable to the draft. Rather than that, I chose to enlist in the Air Force where I served from October 1951 to May of 1961. The picture with this blog reflect some events during that time.

I went to work for McDonnell Aircraft in 1961 and in August was assigned to the Navy
at NAS Oceana Virgina as an advisor to Squadron VF-102 as they received their brand new F-4 Phantoms. While at Oceana I rode both the USS Independence and brand new CVAN-65 USS Enterprise. We deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to the Mediteranean
Sea. The biggest surprise was a deployment off Cuba during the Cuban Blockade. As a civilian.

Again as a civilian advisor, I was transferred in January 1963 to the Marines at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. I deployed with a Marine Squadron a couple of times to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico and was on orders in 1967 to go with the squadron to DaNang, South Vietnam. At the last minute I was sent back to St. Louis
instead, and that ended my military/naval active duty.

That makes me a veteran of duty with the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines. The reason I never went to the Coast Guard was that they never bought any McDonnell fighter aircraft. I presume I can be listed accurately as a veteran.

So, I think back over the years with a sense of pride. I hope my contributions to military and naval/Marines contributed to our United States well being. I am proud of all those years of service, whether active military or as a technical advisor

However, I cannot reflect those years without deep love and appreciation to my wife for the months she spent raising the children and keeping things going. We can recognize our veterans - but at the same time, we should recognize the commitment and concessions made by wives and children who serve in their own ways behind the scenes. In many ways they are heros/heroine in their own ways. Thank YOU on Veterans Day - your contributions are more than we ever give adequate recognition.

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