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A different approach: another way to look at things

Veterans’ Voices is directed toward veterans and their families who have given so much to ensure our freedom in this country. This is an area where you may share your experiences, or read of other veterans’ experiences. We thank you for your service, and hope that you know how much you are loved and appreciated.


Courtesy of Glen H.

Part of life is a history lesson and each of us have been involved in it, one way or another. Our individual input in this history is a focal point of my story.

Being a military veteran has given me a special view and memory of the experience itself, and I would like to share it. I wanted to be there, and the multitude of possibilities offered the process to investigate and/or make choices in the area of the enlistment.

The recruit training or “Boot Camp” was in San Diego, California. Lots of exercise (different than the local gym), and Navy schooling was all part of the daily routine. A small starting salary, unbelievable instructors, and an amazing glance at ways to improve myself were all there.

Shortly after Boot Camp I was on my way to the East Coast for Communication/Signaling/Navigation School and then transferred to the USS James E. Keyes, a Destroyer in Long Beach, California. Two years later I was sent to Submarine School on the East Coast, followed by graduation and assignment to the submarine USS Wahoo in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (Oh darn).

From that point on, I was headed for a career in the Navy. Timing seemed to be everything. On the Destroyer, we were moving throughout the Pacific Theater, working with carriers, other destroyers and submarines in the Pacific, South Pacific, China, Formosa, Japan, Korea and Vietnam and other land/underwater locations.

For the first year or so, I spent every moment of my free time on “The Boat,” hands-on and crawling through the guts of that monster, with or without a trained person, drawing the system for eventual review and hopes of remembering the important points for the many trips through the submarine with a qualified person or persons. The final chapter was the test and the reward of earning the Submarine Dolphins, one of the Navy’s most coveted awards of achievement.

Consequently, the duty got even better, even though the constant “Brotherhood” was there, and the camaraderie continued the brotherhood on the Sub got even stronger. Pride ran deep and teamwork was foremost. There was no question of the quality of the endeavor. Overall, my life improved 100 percent.

I actually grew up in the U.S. Navy. I would recommend it to any young man or woman. We Americans have the best military in the world. Check it out on your own. You will receive the very best training in the world, and you will have the opportunity of a lifetime to “find your place” in all of this good faith, brotherhood and sisterhood and receipt of the greatest training, teamwork, education, and maturity. Truly a lifetime experience.

Bon Voyage and good fortune to you all and God be with you. Glen H. QM2SS.

I would just like to add about after you serve. When you get out with an honorable discharge, whether you make a career out of it or just do four years, you will have multiple veteran benefits — including the GI Bill. The VA will help you purchase a house, free medical, free dental if you retire, free tuition for going to college, plus many more benefits.

Where else can you go with no experience, don’t need a job reference, and get on-the-job training and learn a career? Free travel. Where else can you get all of that?

But the thing that I learned: you will meet some great friends along the way that you can call your brothers and sisters.

Any comments, Email

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— Royal D. Goodman, U.S. Army/Vietnam,

1st Cav/9th Infantry


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