I served Oct. 21, 1957, to Aug. 16, 1960.
My last significant memory of my service occurred at Fort Dix, N.J., when we were addressed by a captain who has lost a leg in Korea. “Don’t feel that your service was of less value to your country just because we were not at war during your enlistment,” he said.
Yes, I guess so. None of pick the date of circumstances of our birth. I was lucky — too young for Korea, and by the time our involvement in Vietnam began, I was married and had started a family. But still, I wonder what it would have been like. And those of you who did face enemy fire would probably tell me I’m crazy.
The best thing that came from my service occurred nine months after the completion of my active duty. On a blind date, I met the cutest and most charming girl I had ever laid eyes on. And when her daddy found out that I was a veteran, I had his immediate approval. “He’s a man,” he said. “He’s fulfilled his obligation. He knows how to take responsibility. He’ll take good care of you.”
That’s all it took. Fifteen months later, we were married. Now after more than 50 years together, my three years of military service is still paying benefits.