My own Introduction: There I was, minding my own business one Saturday back in 1965 when my two best friends, Alan Crellin and Roy Burns, showed up at my house. They talked me into going with them to see a Marine Corp Recruiter in Canoga Park ……just to talk, no commitments. So much for that, they immediately signed up as they were anxious to serve their country in Viet Nam. Since I knew nothing about Viet Nam and didn’t even know where it was, I told them that if Uncle Sam needed me, I would be available. All I knew was that I was lovin’ life earning good money at General Motors in Van Nuys, driving a brand new 1965 Chevell Malibu Supersport, dating a beautiful girl, and attending Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California. During the spring of 1966, I became discontented with my college studies and I dropped out of school with plansto resume the following semester. On April 28, 1966, I received Uncle Sam’s famous letter of “Greeting”: You are hereby ordered to report for induction on May 17, 1966 at 7:30a.m.
Before I knew it, there I was in Basic Training at Fort Riley, Kansas, along with many guys I knew from the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles suburb). Except for PT (physical training), marching, forced marches, running, getting up early and going to bed late, sharing a room with a bunch of ugly guys, mess hall chow, c-rations, bivoucs, pup tents, sergeants and lieutenants, guard duty and KP, wearing fatigues, and just being there in Kansas…….theUS Army life was REALLY GREAT! However, I can honestly say that I adapted fairly well and made the best of it, as did almost every other soldier. Over the years, I have constantly felt that I was a truly fortunate American who had the opportunity to have served my country. Likewise, I believe that my life has been much more full and optimistic as a result of so many positive aspects of my military service. I am proud to say, actually paraphrase, that “I was all that I could be”. I salute those I served with, especially those brave young soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I continue to be very grateful for the outstanding leadership of the officers and noncommissioned officers within the Mobile Riverine Force and especially the 4th/47th Battalion. God Bless America! November 29, 2001