I graduated from high school in 1966. With a much-needed loan from my dear mother, and behind my old man's back, I enrolled in junior college and retained my 1-A status, to avoid being drafted into the Army. Unfortunately, this plan was short-lived. Due to my love for the girls and drinking beer, I very seldom showed up for class. Therefore, I flunked out of college in the first semester. Bummer. I was back on the draft list, and expected to receive my notice in the mail within a very short time.
Many of my friends were getting married to avoid Vietnam. It was a fate worse than death in my mind, so I chose to take my chances with the Viet Cong, rather than a wife. My mother, with her ultimate wisdom, talked me into joining the Navy, to avoid being drafted as a ground soldier in the Army. I thought that was a pretty good idea because my older brother had served in the Navy some years before, and he had survived. Since I was a big believer that "misery loves company," I talked my pal, Bob, into enlisting in the Navy with me. The recruiter assured us that we were on the "buddy system," and would be stationed on the same ship together. What a liar he was! We soon found out that there was no such thing as the "buddy system." However, we were both home-ported in Long Beach, so we did get to see each other on occasion. Bob ended up marrying the hometown girl he had dated for about a year, and your's truly was his best man. Married and in the service? Double jeopardy, I concluded!
When I post next week, I'll continue with some more info on where I came from, and how I got to where I am today.