Celebrating our Veterans

Nov 10, 2021 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

“My primary service was in Hawaii. It wasn’t what it seems to be. There was something about driving around the whole island in less then 2 hours that bothered me. Your 1,600 miles away from the mainland. I was in a cohort battalion. Everybody went to basic together, and schools together. That meant everybody was fighting for rank at the same time. I was top dragon gunner. That’s an antitank missile fired from your shoulder. I was going to stay in, but I had a bad knee.

“Being in the military means everything right now. Our military is the only thing keeping us together. The people that go into the military have a whole different take on brotherhood and togetherness. We need to support each other, not fight each other; fight who is fighting us. Our enemy shouldn’t be ourselves.”
Army Ranger Battalion 1985-1987
“I was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, and Fort Jackson in South Carolina. We were still fighting the cold war against the Russians, and I wrote stories for broadcast journalist.

“I joined up because I dropped out of college because of scholarship cuts. Mine was a 9 to 5 job, but it taught me that there ain’t nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. At the time, it didn’t mean as much, but it means more to me now.”
Army Journalist 1982-1984
“In the Army I was a wheel and track vehicle mechanic, and I served in Germany. I got out for a year, but when you only make a $1.50 an hour, you ain’t getting Sh*t. In the Air Force, I was an aircraft mechanic. It was a little scary, twelve months in Vietnam. I was at Pleiku, in the mountains. I have 100% disability because of Agent Orange, but they treat me good. I was in and out before I was 21.

“I like it [America] here. I would do it again, and if you’re young and you don’t mind traveling, you can get a ‘hot and a cot’.” (That’s a meal and a place to sleep)
Vehicle & Aircraft Mechanic Army 1962-1965; Air Force 1967-1970
“What I took away from my time in the military is a hard work ethic, self-discipline, and really, really great memories. I was 27 when I transferred out of the Army reserves, and into the Coast Guard. At the time, females weren’t allowed anywhere near combat, so I went to a service that let females do any job that was available. I miss it every day, but something told me it was time to go. A little voice in the back of my head.

“I would tell anyone it is a life-changing experience. You learn more about yourself then you ever could outside of the military. The self-discipline, and the things that you could do that you never thought you could. It gives you the self-confidence to get up in the morning and say that ‘I can do anything that I put my mind to’.”
US Coast Guard Food Service Specialist 1994-2001
“The people I worked with, the ships I was on, that is what sticks out in my mind. I am proud of my service, and I would do it again. I felt that I was protecting our country. Now, it means freedom to me, it’s what we all live for. I was a boy when I went in. I was 17, and I loved every minute of it. Go Navy.”
Navy Boiler Tech 1978-1982
“I spent most of my tour in San Vito dei Normanni, in the boot of Italy. What I remember most is the comradery with the youngsters. It was fun, looking back at it.

“Now, it [the military] means more. It’s amazing how the older I get, the more sentimental I get. At football games, I don’t just take my hat off and hold it over my heart, I salute the flag. It means so much more to me now.”
Air Force Intelligence Service 1968-1972
“Why the Navy? I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It was a way of getting away from home, trying something new. It was very easy for me; it was like an extended vacation. I was stationed down in Jacksonville, Florida, and I worked at an alcohol/drug rehabilitation center. I did mostly paper work.

“I had good friends, it was a fun time. I would do it again. I felt proud. It’s like when you stand for the National Anthem, it brings tears to your eyes. It’s just a great feeling.”
Navy non-designated seaman 1994-1996

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