This week is week 10 and the prompt is Military.
- Did you join the military
- Were you encouraged or discouraged?
- Did a family member?
- Regular or for a particular incident
- Did you or your family serve overseas in the line of service either during a war or as a posting?
- Any thoughts, photographs, memories relevant
I had two close calls to joining the military. At a job fair in my senior year of college, I spoke to a recruiter from the United States Coast Guard. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my very general degree of a BS in Biology. He was looking for graduates who would then go to Officer’s Candidate School and then serve time in the service (the time I don’t remember—this was way back in 1977). I think I let him take my contact information and then I didn’t think about it again.
I got a job working in the office of a sporting goods store. I didn’t like the job at all but felt a bit stuck there. Well, the recruiter contacted me and I thought, why not? I’d get to see a bit of the world and do something more exciting than counting money and entering data into a computer. Since I didn’t know much about boating, I took a class given by a local Power Squadron group. Then I had an interview with a panel.
The recruiter was shocked when I showed up with a cast on my foot, resulting from a sprain when I tripped on a curb. He tried to take the photo of me without the cast showing (luckily I wore slacks which covered most of the cast). Then I had the interview.
I had been very honest in the interview for the sporting goods job and it got me the job. Being very honest with the Coast Guard interview did not get me a spot at OCS. And I knew it as soon as I walked out of the room. I so wanted to reopen the door and try a “I think I blew it and can I try again.” But I didn’t.
I learned to never say you hate your previous job. I learned to really research what the job entails and to answer questions with those details. I also learned you tend to get things when you really, really want them.
And, I would have never met my husband, Norman.
Flash forward a few years. I’m a train operator now and working a late shift. A regular on Sunday evening was this guy who worked for the San Francisco Muni. We’d talk some and I let him ride in the cab. One day he spoke of his Naval Reserve job. He was in a unit where he drove trucks and that if one had a background in the field, one would not have to attend basic training. It sounded like fun, so I enquired about joining his unit. This was before women in combat (in the 1980’s). So I went through the application process, took some aptitude test, and had a medical physical (where the doctor informed me I had a heart murmur that I never knew).
But this was never to be either. I think my friends who I had asked to fill out recommendations never did. Probably just as well. A few years later my two daughters were born and I had a new role to play in life, one I was now very ready for.
Now if I want to involve myself in the military, I just pick up a nice novel and read. Some favorite authors include: Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin.
Family members who did serve in the military:
- Grandfather, Tom J. Johnston, Jr. in the Navy for a short time in 1944.
- Grandfather, William Cyril Hork in the Navy, aboard the submarine tender, USS Alert, out of Long Beach, California during WWI
- 2nd Great-Grandfather, Reuben Mack Johnston, Confederate Army from Texas in the Civil War
- 3rd Great-Grandfather, George W. Lancaster, 6th Texas Cavalry, Civil War
- 3rd Great-Grandfather, Benjamin W. Jones, 3rd MS Cavalry State Troops, Co A.
Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past