Posted tagged ‘USNavy’

Gabriels Big Adventure

October 25, 2017

 

We were awakened about 2AM by something and shortly thereafter noticed the motion detector light on the garage was on.  This was a concern because we had a bear get into our garbage just last week and today is garbage day and we have a full container, so I got out of bed and went downstairs to check on it.   Patty had moved my flashlight, so I couldn’t find it, so I turned on the porch light and stepped onto the deck but couldn’t see anything.  Well Patty was ‘concerned’ that I went outside in my skivvies so when the motion light clicked on a half hour later she got up and got dressed to check it out.  I got up too and put on a robe and slippers in case I had to run down and do battle with a bear.   Patty retrieved the flashlight from where she had hidden it and shone it down into the yard and illuminated a skunk.   So, this is my life.  Robin and Karen, my nephew and his wife, live in Salem and have a nice house with bluebirds, canaries and chickadees feeding at hanging feeders and we get buzzards, bears and skunks. 

I guess one reason we were awake was that Gabriel, our grandson, joined the Navy through the Delayed Enlistment Program yesterday and I was thinking about when I had done the same thing almost 60 years ago.   He will be trained as a Hospital Corpsman and had to sign up for 5 years because of the training.  When I signed up it was for 3 years on a Kiddy Cruise, which means in at 18 out at 21, although I was extended because of the crisis with the Soviet Union over the Berlin Wall being built.  Anyway, I was thinking about how that had changed my life and what an exciting change it was for me.  Now I get to experience it all again through Gabriel’s eyes.  I’ve never been to Great Lakes Recruit Training Center because, at that time, people in the western US went to San Diego but now the NTC there is closed.   But Basic Training is the same old bullshit.  A lot of screaming, calisthenics, jumping off a 12’ tower and swimming the length of the pool, being put in a building and having it set on fire, being put in another building and being gassed…good times!  Once he finishes that, about 8 weeks, he’ll be sent to San Antonio for his class ‘A’ school as a corpsman.  That will be 19 weeks and that means he’ll be there in the winter.  I went to Lackland AFB in San Antonio in the winter for NCOIC school in the Air Force.  I was stationed in Denver, Colorado at the time and I flew in for the training that was recommended for senior NCOs.  I’ve never been so cold!  I bought a coat that I still have that I call my winter coat.  Well, Gabriel will have a pea coat I’m sure. 

Gabe has been told that he’ll get a ‘C’ school to get additional training after his ’A’ school, but I’m worried about that.  He could get trained as a Combat Medic, X-Ray tech, Pharmacy Tech or any number of specialties but I imagine that will be based on the needs of the Navy and how well he does in school.  But maybe, since he had to enlist for an extra year, the Navy won’t play games with him and he’ll get the training.  Anyway, having spent my final years in recruiting, I believe in the service and that it is a viable option in personal development and a good way to decide what to do with your life.  He’ll get some training and have the GI Bill when he gets out.  He’ll be 23 years old and not too old to go to college and earn a college degree.  I tried to talk him out of it but really, I’m fine with what he’s decided to do.   And I’m sure he’ll have stories to tell.

So, Patty and I never got back to sleep.  We read for a little while then turned off the light but our brains were going a mile-a-minute so we just laid there and talked.  We’ll probably get tired sometime today but for right now we’re wide awake.  But while we’re talking about reading, I do have a gem to share.  It’s Origin by Dan Brown.  It’s a great read and completely factual or plausible as are all his books.   You can bet that Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are planning a blockbuster right now but don’t wait for it.  Buy the book!

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