I had always had a plan,goals. I had spent my time working,improving myself or in a meaningful relationship and then I found myself going onto the Navy. The year was 1965,Aug 29th. I raised my hand and swore alliegence to the United States and protect her against all enemies foreign and domestic and off to bootcamp in the Great Lakes,A school training in Millington Tenn. and then to my regular duty station-Chase Field Beeville Texas squadron 26,the flying Tigers for the duration.
I had a plan up till the part about my duty station. I was disciplined enough to work dilligently in my Navy jobs and attain rank as fast as was possible.
I achieved the rank of E-5,second class Petty Officer Jet Hydraulics Mechanic but due to a Navy screw up went all the way up in rank on the flight line-ending second elisted in charge of daily operations which normally meant 140 sorties a day.
I was supposed to be working in the hydraulic shop on aircraft like I was trained to do LOL.
The Navy discovered their glaring error when I only had 1 year to go of my 4 year tour. They were pissed off about it but it was their error not mine.I had it made finally on the flight line,our long 17 hr. days had given way to my 4/5 hour shift with weekends off.I was in heaven and was studying very hard for my E-6 test.
The order came in ___Green report to the Hydraulic shop ASAP. The other mechanics lined up at the hangar doors and covered me in grease for missing all that time working in the shop. The thing that made all this so rough was I was now an E-5,had never worked on a plane since I got there and was obligated to not only start working on planes but to be a crew leader and safety inspector.I had forgotten much of what I learned in Hydraulics school by then.
The guys in the shop were not understanding either,they gave me the hardest jobs,the ones no one else wanted to do. I had finished 2nd in my class in hydraulics school and if it were not for the fun of trouble shooting it would have been harder.
I used to go back to the barracks from the flight line in pristine condition. I now went home with red hydraulic fluid covering my uniform and grease . I swore if I survived this final year ordeal I would never work in hydraulics again.
I wrote the heading Out of Controll in regards to this story because it was the 3 1/2yrsI spent at Chase Field that were out of controll.I went there under 21,had never been away from home in my life,never drank never caroused. I had a plan,go to college,marry my High School sweetheart have a family and live happily ever after.
The girl dumped me the second I mentioned marriage,I caught mono and had to audit my college classes and was about to be drafted.
My dad did a sales pitch on me to join the Navy, I enlisted with my good friend Chuck on the buddy plan--even that screwed up. I flunked my physical the first time with sugar in my urine from some candy the night before the phycical in Jacksonville.
Chuck went on to bootcamp and I went home for a week with the order that I had to be tested for a week for sugar and I could go to boot camp if I passed.
MY fami.ly Dr. said do you really want to go into the service--lol I know what he was saying--but I was patriotic and didnt eat any sugar and passed with flying colors.One week later I was on my way to bootcamp.I didnt want to stay around town anyway. I was reeling from the breakup with my girlfriend--like an idiot tried to get her back for 3 years--an exercise in torture I could have done without.
By being out of controll I am referring to the fact that untill I met my current wife 2 years and 10 months after getting to Beeville I spent all my free time chasingwomen,drinking,carousing,partying--nothing useful to make me a better person. I could have gone back to college,gotten my pilots licenseand the Govt would
have paid for it.I could have invested or saved money!
You might say hey that was a growing up life experience. Learn about people and real life etc.No it was a total waste of time and brain cells-it was an undisciplined out of controll responseto strict parents and no one other than the Navy telling me what to do. I was so into having a good time that I didnt even call or write home to let my parents know hw I was. The commanding officer had to call me up to his office and chew me out and tell me to write home more often.
Since my grandchildren will be reading this I will skip all the sordid details of my carousing and the ends I went to to score---I was a player a pathetic one at that.
I will pick this life memoir up when I met my wife,8 months before my Navy tour would end. More later Gator-Codger Ricky G.