- 9 weeks of Navy boot camp, with a drill sergeant who ripped our bunks & lockers to pieces and berated us for not having properly folded or stowed our gear
- standing at attention on the drill field for several hours in the sun and then the rain
- marching. lots and lots and lots of marching
- arriving at my first duty station after boot camp, where I learned they’d placed me in a barracks filled with Army women on an Army base! Wait – didn’t I join the Navy?
- language classes for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for almost a year – in beautiful Monterey, CA
- my Air Force buddies who decided I needed to see a nude beach near Big Sur
- driving from CA to TX for my 2nd duty station – an Air Force base! (Checks uniform – yep, I’m still in the Navy.)
- 3 months in TX where we could watch (or hear) the fighter jets practice take-offs and landings
- my first job after training at the NSA at Ft. Meade, Maryland – an Army base, but hooray: there’s a barracks just for us Navy folks!
- being on the job – I worked side by side with civilian Dept. of Defense folks, Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force personnel
- as a cryptologic technician I did cool things like
- sorry, it’s classified, but you can read about CTIs on wikipedia – it was pretty incredible stuff for a 20 year old
- the strobe light flashing to signal an incident
- the quarter-size hole someone scrapped in the film-covered window so we could see the world outside
- we rotated shifts: 2 weeks of days (7-3) followed by 2 weeks of mids (11-7)
- the stress of not being to talk about the work I did
- 5 years active duty + 1 year in the Reserves
- that I never regretted serving my country. Would I do it again? You bet!
To all who have served, thank you. I am honored to be counted with you.