First published in 2012 when I started theleansubmariner blog. Updated to 2020 to mark the 48th anniversary of the day I took my oath to defend this nation. This is the 900’th posting on the blog.
April 24th, 1972 is a day that I first raised my hand.
Like most kids, I was cocky, self centered, in too much of a hurry to be grown up and not as disciplined as I should have been. But everything began to change on that day. Up until that point, my recruiter had been the face of the Navy . He was a Senior Chief Machinist Mate named James Dotson and he was the head recruiter out of the McKeesport Pennsylvania office.
I actually signed the initial paperwork on April 19th with Mom and Dad having to sign as well. I was only seventeen. The swearing in occurred a few days later in Pittsburgh at the MEPS station in the Federal Building. That was my first exposure to standing in line at attention. It was also a chance to figure out that this was definitely different than hanging out…
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