My experience may not carry weight equal to other vets as I was not involved in battle action, but my label in the U.S. Navy was very different and not the norm.
I was a musician after graduating from the U.S. Naval School of Music at Washington, D.C. Prior to that, I graduated from the Palestrina Institute of Music in Detroit. While in the Navy from 1956 to 1960, I met and played piano with three gentlemen from professional backgrounds. Two of them were a trumpet player and a bass player from Count Basie’s band — Duke Garrett and Arnett Pat Gaston — and a drummer who joined Lawrence Welk later in civilian life, Paul Humphery. Paul and I played with a quartet in the Seattle area in 1959 and 1960.
My time in the Navy followed several years in Detroit on radio and TV.