Military service is a unique experience.
Once you go through it, you never forget. The training, the travel, and the time away from family and friends affect the service member and their family. As a two-time military veteran (Air Force & Army), I have first-hand experience.
I was in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. I missed the combat but I had friends that didn’t. Some came home and some didn’t (R.I.P.) Freedom is not free – many paid the price. During this time period in America most of my class mates were being drafted into military service. If you are a Vietnam Era veteran I’m sure you remember the mood of the country in the 1960′s and early 70′s.
I still remember basic training, AIT, and my assignments. At age 19, I took my first air plane ride from Detroit Michigan to San Antonio, Texas. I also spent time in Nevada, followed by 90 days at Wheeler AFB in Tripoli, Libya during the US base closure there. Then I spent almost two years at Sembach AFB, in Southern Germany.
During this time, Detroit was really the MOTOR CITY – Home of the big four – Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and American Motors. While in my senior year of high school, I started working on the second shift at the assembly line at Chrysler. The money was good but the work was hard – basic level manual labor. Always observant, I looked around and noticed too many, worn out old workers stuck on the line in support of their families. My way out was to join the Air Force, to use the GI Bill.
I remember the separations from family and friends while in the service – years overseas and other parts of the country. But I learned to make friends and I always wrote home. Think about all the friends you made from different parts of the world. It’s been many years for me, but I have photos to refresh my memory. Some of you still keep in touch with people you met while in the military.
I received a hardship discharge from the Air Force to take care of my dad who suffered a stroke while I was in Germany. After a year, a friend of his took over and I went off to college in Philadelphia under the GI Bill. While there, I ended up going through the Army R.O.T.C. Program there.
While in the Army, I spent time at Ft. Lee VA, Ft. Bragg N.C. and three years on Army posts in Germany. I even took the Border tour between East and West Germany and saw miles and miles of two story fences, land mined areas, kill zones and guard towers.
Things have changed, but I still remember. I saw first-hand why everyone wants to come to the land of opportunity and freedom. I did 10 years in the Army along with 3 years in the Air force that’s 13 years total – no 20-year retirement, but I gained a wealth of priceless experience.
Do you still have a military mindset? Accomplish the mission and take care of your men (family). Do you have kids over 18 that are looking for a job but spending hours and hours on the internet, or their smart phone with mobile internet access? Do you need additional funds to send them to college? Do you still need additional funds to pay off your own student loans?
Communication has advanced so much in the last twenty years. How much time do you spend online? Do you have a Face Book, and LinkedIn account, Twitter, Instagram, etc.? More importantly, are YOU getting paid off all this technology?
Are you up to the challenge? Can you take that “can do attitude” to help someone in your circle of family and friends who needs additional income? Do you personally know a disabled vet that can use a computer key board. There is a way for them to generate income off the internet?
Are you a military spouse, holding down the home front while your other half is off fighting somewhere? Information is power, use it to your advantage. Get the info. Having served as an Air Force Sergeant and an Army Captain request you take your time – recon the material. If you accept the mission, the Team is ready. This has been straight talk, beast mode.
Awesome stuff Earl, Thank you for everything you have done.
Hi Earl, I have never been in the military but I know people who have. I get Vietnam was very tough. We had Australians there supporting the US as I’m sure you know. I do have a “can do” attitude. Thank you for sharing some of your journey Earl.
Great post Earl, thank you for your service to our country. A can-do attitude is so important. Thanks for sharing your story.
Great post Earl and thank you for serving our country. You asked some very great questions that will really get people thinking. What is it that we really want? People don’t know what they want. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome story.
Thanks for your comments. I joined the military for an opportunity to escape the assembly line. What I discover was The Thin Red Line that changes the ordinary Joe into the GI Joe. That “can-do attitude” gets drilled into the heart and the brain. We train to maintain in any type of weather or terrain. And even as I age, I will always remember the stage, where duty and honor always stand, against the rage.