I managed to survive the Navy and the Vietnam War. Although, I didn't encounter any Viet Cong, thank God, there were some tense times sitting on top of 8 million gallons of jet fuel in a war zone.
Before I left Vung Tao in 1971 to be discharged from the Navy, I received a letter from my mother. Enclosed was a letter that had been sent to me from Uncle Sam. It stated that I had been drafted into the Army. The letter was a little late, so I had managed to dodge the bullet, literally.
Back home in Joplin, Missouri and in civilian status, I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life. My friend, Bob, who had been discharged out of the service earlier, turned me on to college. Since Uncle Sam was graciously paying for it via the G.I. Bill, it sounded like a hell of a better idea than getting a job, so I enrolled right away.
Unfortunately, I found out you couldn't just take any courses you wanted to, because there are such things as prerequisites. English 101 was one of them, and I was definitely bummed out about that!
I had no idea this would be the class that would pave the way to a writing career many years later.