|I was still in school when WW II erupted. Our family was good friends with an old German family that had lots of kids and owned a classy restaurant serving great German food. Our families visited often which allowed all the children to form close friendships. Eddie was a little older then I, but we all got along well, and played together as we grew up.
Eddie could not wait to get into the service, and enlisted into the Marine Corp. When he reached eighteen years, he was off to do his part in the war. I was younger but still had some of those feelings inside of me.
Some months later, we got together with our friends to mourn a tragedy, Eddie was one of the brave men in the battle of IWO-JIMA. I can remember standing with our two families looking at a picture flanked by two U.S. flags.
My young friend had given his life for his country. I can not explain all of the feelings inside me, but I knew that in a few years I too would not deny all of the feeling inside me. I would join the Navy.
Before my enlistment, I spent a short time in California, and worked at Lockheed Aircraft Co, building P-38 Lightning Airplanes. I was rewarded with a great feeling that I was doing something to help the effort. I did not know then that my life would soon change and I would be serving on an Aircraft carrier. I always loved to see the P38"s as they flew overhead, and knew why Germany and Japan hated them. They had nothing to match speed and ability of that plane.
I came back home for a brief time as I was getting restless and that feeling in side me was growing. And then the day I went to the enlistment office, raised my right hand and swore to defend my country. I had feelings that you just can not put to paper.
I have to tell you that I had a twin brother, and a brother three years older than I. My twin brother Dick went in the Navy with me. My older brother Ralph was already in the Navy and stationed on a Battleship. We all must have had the same feelings about serving our great country.
Now it’s off to Great Lakes Navel Training Center, and BOOT CAMP...