(Blame it on mama, she made the uniform)
I have always admired the folk who KNEW what they wanted to be when they grew up and worked toward that. Most everyone I looked up to as a child were military. I admired my brother’s uniforms.
I never thought of another profession from about 5 years to 16, I always wanted a uniform. As a boy you don’t know of the many jobs in the military, you just think of carrying a rifle, obstacle courses, inspections and war.
When I was old enough to forge a birth Certificate I started the process. Looking back the recruiters had to know I was a kid. I looked 13 or 14. Much later I learned that a recruiter is under tremendous pressure to meet a quota, so they took me. I was caught at the swearing in. The SBI agent didn’t have to try hard, he scared me. I had broken a few laws, forgery, etc. A few months later with mama’s signature I made it. I got my vacation on Parris Island. LOL
(Look at the kid on the right, we washed out clothes with a scrub brush!!)
It was then I learned there were other jobs in service other than the infantry. I had a good friend who was a cook. I was a field radio operator. After two years in the USMC, I thought I had had enough of the military. It had not been all that much fun. LOL
But after two months of looking for a job I found one. It paid at $1 an hour stuffing ‘This Week’ magazine in the Sunday Funnies. I had just turned 19 and had a pregnant wife. I still wanted a uniform. I joined the USAF.
I have had many jobs, careers or occupations since that time but I did total 20+ years in the USMC, USAF and USN.
After trying a couple more jobs, Hotel Maintenance and running a Roach Coach (Catering truck), with Sherry’s suggestion and approval I got into building. I found my love. I was 42 years old and once I realized this was my real dream I was the happiest I had ever been at a job.
I have met builders who knew at 15, they were going to build. I admire that. Some of us WANDER thru a lot of life. I’ve seen the saying “All that wander, are not LOST!” I think of old Davy’s saying, “Not lost, but bewildered some.” I guess that was me. LOL
If you hit your heart’s desire on the first try, I am proud for you. Some of us had to wander for a spell. LOL My journey was definitely not a waste. I enjoyed the many situations I was in. I had a good time, most jobs I even thought this is IT! But when I found a hammer that fit my hand, I was a happy guy.
1955-56 Buicks, new when I joind the USMC