Happy Veterans Day!
Thanks to all veterans for your service.
Special Thanks to those guys still serving in harms way.
J.T., that means you, Bro!
Here's my Veterans Day Story:
(This may not be funny. It's more of a history. Feel free to skip it if you wish. I'm writing it more for myself than anything else.)
I enlisted in the Navy's Delayed Entry Program between my junior and senior year of High School. I knew my parents couldn't afford to send me to college, and since I had spent the majority of my school years screwing off, I wasn't exactly in line for a scholarship. I knew that I could go to school while in the service and they would pay for it. This was also right after the First Gulf War, and everybody was feeling all patriotic and gung-ho.
Me and my friend, J.T., decided to join up together. We had seen the movie Navy Seals, and decided that's what we were going to be. We enlisted in the Buddy Program, where they guarantee you stay together for Boot camp and A school. We took the ASVAB and qualified to choose whatever job we wanted. We decided on Corpsmen (medic) cause we were both interested in the medical field and it was also a "SEAL" rated job.
We spent our senior year pretty normal, except for the knowledge that we were leaving for the NAVY 3 days after graduation. We graduated, said our goodbyes and headed to MEPS for processing and shipping out. During refiling of our entrance paperwork, we were held up for a couple days. I had to get a waiver for a legal matter (consumption by a minor) and J.T. had to get a waiver for an old medical issue. My matter was cleared, J.T.'s wasn't. They made me ship out without him. (He was notified about 8 months later that he was clear to ship, but by then was enrolled in nursing school and refused since they had violated our original agreement. He later joined the Army National Guard, and is presently serving in Afghanistan.)
I boarded a plane for the first time in my life on June 9th 1993, and headed for RTC Great Lakes. After eight weeks and three days of boot camp, I finally got to come home for 2 weeks before returning to Great Lakes for Hospital Corpsmen A School. Corps School was 14 weeks of 8-hour days of extensive medical training. After completing 2 weeks of "clinicals" at the VA hospital in Chicago, we got to pick our first duty station based on our standing in the class. I had finished near the top, so I had my pick of pretty much anything. We were just happy to be able to choose, because the class behind us and the class ahead of us were all sent straight to FMSS/FMF to learn how to be Marine Corpsmen and then were being sent to Somalia or someplace. Anyway, I chose Naval Hospital Milington outside of Memphis, Tennessee. It was the closest thing to home on the Duty station board. And since I had met my soon-to-be-wife during my senior year, I wanted to stay close to home.
Millington had great weather compared to Indiana and Great Lakes, IL. I met a lot of good friends, did a lot of crazy stuff, and made memories that will last a lifetime. Some of which I'll probably blog about in the future. My wife (girlfriend at the time) even followed me to Memphis, after she graduated in 1994, and attended Rhodes College in Memphis for a year.
While in Millington, I spent 9 months working in a Pediatric Clinic, 6 months in a Family Practice Clinic, and 3 months in an Immunizations Clinic. Finally, the time came for me to pick my next duty station. I had my choice between the following: Overseas Hospital Duty Station, Shipboard Duty Station, Marine Detachment, or apply to a C school for advanced training. I applied and was accepted to Search & Rescue C School. This was in Pensacola, FL and ran by a mixture of Navy Seals and the Coast Guard. If you've seen the movie The Guardian, then you'll have some idea.
Anyway, around this time, my back problem showed up and I was given a Medical Discharge. I came home and started attending Ball State for Nursing and Pre-Med, using my GI Bill.
P.S. Comments have been turned off to avoid any thanking me for my service crap.