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Old 01-02-2018, 07:30 PM
 
Location: USA
405 posts, read 150,258 times
Reputation: 1142

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I joined the service and went active duty in 1976. The USAF trained me as a med lab tech, something I had wanted for years knowing it would serve me well after the service when the GI Bill would allow me to attend college. That GI Bill helped me earn both a bachelor’s degree and it helped for most of a masters.

I’ll retire at some point this year and I can’t help but think the service helped me to be successful. My training helped to give me a great part time job both during and after the service when I was in college. Twice, I walked into a hospital looking for a job, twice I walked out with a job pending paperwork of course.

If you know someone in high school who doesn’t have money for college, could use a few years to “grow up” and is willing to work hard, the service is still a great option. I got to serve with some great people in a time when most in the US turned their backs on the military but that didn’t matter to us. We did our jobs and we were there for each other.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:49 AM
 
2,460 posts, read 2,684,247 times
Reputation: 2538
Thanks for your service and sharing your story. I'm glad to hear your decision as a young person helped you out in your life and career. I hope that at least some of CD's younger readers will take your post seriously in their future decisions. I do still think joining the military can be an solid avenue for some disadvantaged youth who come from a difficult or troubled background. Or quite simply some of them are just having a hard time figuring out what to do in deciding a career path.

Now with having the ability to search internet, younger people have many options before their curious eyes without realizing how much it can help them now and in the future.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Southern California
948 posts, read 993,939 times
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I joined the Navy in 1975 after working dead-end jobs because I had no real skills. Military people weren't well-liked after the Vietnam war, but fortunately I didn't care what other people thought of me anyway. Becoming a Hospital Corpsman opened my eyes to all kinds of health care related fields I could pursue. The GI Bill helped pay for undergraduate and graduate degrees, and 43 years later, I'm still employed in health care. As you said, the military has a lot to offer someone who is willing to work hard and put in the time. It wasn't all fun and games, but I managed to have some great times during those four years, too.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:40 PM
 
Location: USA
405 posts, read 150,258 times
Reputation: 1142
Quote:
Originally Posted by simbared View Post
I joined the Navy in 1975 after working dead-end jobs because I had no real skills. Military people weren't well-liked after the Vietnam war, but fortunately I didn't care what other people thought of me anyway. Becoming a Hospital Corpsman opened my eyes to all kinds of health care related fields I could pursue. The GI Bill helped pay for undergraduate and graduate degrees, and 43 years later, I'm still employed in health care. As you said, the military has a lot to offer someone who is willing to work hard and put in the time. It wasn't all fun and games, but I managed to have some great times during those four years, too.
Feels pretty good doesn’t it? All of your/our hard work is paying off!

Agreed on the Vietnam war comments. I was set upon by a drunk in the airport in Dallas on the way home at Christmas, 1976...we were told to wear dress blues. He ended up stuffed and cuffed with a bloody nose. Luckily, a vet stood helped explain to the cops what occurred and I made my flight home. Took me a while to understand why I was targeted. Yep, young and maybe a little green.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,660 posts, read 4,410,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k7baixo View Post
Feels pretty good doesn’t it? All of your/our hard work is paying off!

Agreed on the Vietnam war comments. I was set upon by a drunk in the airport in Dallas on the way home at Christmas, 1976...we were told to wear dress blues. He ended up stuffed and cuffed with a bloody nose. Luckily, a vet stood helped explain to the cops what occurred and I made my flight home. Took me a while to understand why I was targeted. Yep, young and maybe a little green.
It is a good feeling. I too also joined on active duty in 1976. I am surprised they made you wear dress blues on a commercial flight. As I remember my training we were told to travel in civilian clothes and to try not to call attention to your military service. Also that if you were traveling overseas on a commercial flight to use a passport. This was because of several incidents like yours in which people were still remembering the reports of unsavory military actions in Vietnam. Also they feared things like what happen to the Navy service member Robert Stethem who summarily killed and dumped outside of the plane on the tarmac. To this day I scratch my head as to why we changed that policy. I do not see the benefit of wearing a uniform while traveling especially overseas.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,678 posts, read 2,990,485 times
Reputation: 11341
Quote:
Originally Posted by k7baixo View Post
Feels pretty good doesn’t it? All of your/our hard work is paying off!

Agreed on the Vietnam war comments. I was set upon by a drunk in the airport in Dallas on the way home at Christmas, 1976...we were told to wear dress blues. He ended up stuffed and cuffed with a bloody nose. Luckily, a vet stood helped explain to the cops what occurred and I made my flight home. Took me a while to understand why I was targeted. Yep, young and maybe a little green.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
It is a good feeling. I too also joined on active duty in 1976. I am surprised they made you wear dress blues on a commercial flight. As I remember my training we were told to travel in civilian clothes and to try not to call attention to your military service. Also that if you were traveling overseas on a commercial flight to use a passport. This was because of several incidents like yours in which people were still remembering the reports of unsavory military actions in Vietnam. Also they feared things like what happen to the Navy service member Robert Stethem who summarily killed and dumped outside of the plane on the tarmac. To this day I scratch my head as to why we changed that policy. I do not see the benefit of wearing a uniform while traveling especially overseas.

I remember having to wear my Class A uniform when I flew home in 1973. LAX to Anchorage. I never received any negative comments.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:27 AM
 
5,069 posts, read 5,973,656 times
Reputation: 9586
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I remember having to wear my Class A uniform when I flew home in 1973. LAX to Anchorage. I never received any negative comments.
These things OldSoldier mentions happened in the late 1970s and 1980s. Beider Meinhoff, Ross Brigade, and all the Al Qaeda terrorists in waiting who lived in Cyprus and Greece. hijacking planes and collecting papers. killed that poor sailor and dumped his body on the tarmac because they thought that a submarine (underwater) welder (on his paperwork his MOS) was a US Marine. Captured BG Dozier. put bombs under playgrounds on military bases. that stuff

As to the uniform in late 1970s in CONUS we were told not to wear uniforms, drive straight home no civilian stops in uniform. Wear civilian clothing to fly. Have long since forgotten what caused that. Just remember enforcing it with my troops.
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