Once upon a time there was an eighteen-year-old who joined the Navy to see the world…
The opening of a new story? Nope. That 18 year old was me.
High school was torture at times. I think I was bored. I was a good student and stayed out of trouble except for that incident with 7 friends and a Volkswagon bug. I graduated with honors, though let’s not talk about that computer programming class. The dog ate… er, no, it was the lab assignments – I couldn’t get to the lab to do them because I worked. (I probably didn’t try very hard.)
College was not on my radar. I wasn’t ready to face more schooling unless I could get a full scholarship to Georgetown, major in Spanish and Russian, and then work overseas at an embassy. Honors, yes. Grades high enough for a full ride at a very good university? Not happening.
I visited the Navy recruiters’ office at least 3 times beginning in the 9th grade. Pictures of destroyers, aircraft carriers, and fighter jets covered my walls, along with the Bobby Sherman posters. (My kids will tell you those have been replaced by Star Destroyers, X-wings, and Star Wars posters.) I really think the recruiters were surprised I kept returning to talk to them, and thrilled when I took the oath.
Eighteen, on my own, and headed to Florida for boot camp with suitcase and guitar in hand.
Do I want to be 18 again? No way. But what an experience…
I’ll blog about boot camp and life in the Navy in a future post.