(My theme is places I have visited or lived)
I graduated from Marine Corps Boot camp January 19, 1973 in San Diego, CA. I was then sent to the Army Chemical Warfare School in Anniston, AL. I graduated as an NBC (Nuclear Biological & Chemical) Warfare Specialist (5711) in March of 1973. After a time of military leave I was assigned to HMM 261 (Helicopter) Squadron stationed at the New River Air Station in Jacksonville, NC.
I arrived in J-Ville around midnight and was picked up at the airport by the duty driver and driven to a receiving barracks. The next morning I checked into the S-1 (Administration) office in order to process into my new unit.
I was just 60 some days past my 18th birthday. I was almost two people - one person in me was scared to death. All alone in a strange state, 3,000 miles from friends and family joining a Squadron which had distinquished itself in Viet Nam. The other person in me was as excited as a 10 year old boy on Christmas Day.
I got checked into HMM 261 with no problems and began my life as an NBC NCO and S-3 Flight Operations Clerk.
It was also where I was married. My high school sweetheart flew from San Jose, CA to Jacksonville, NC. On June 18th, 1973 Irene and I were married at the Tar Landing Missionary Baptist Church of Jacksonville, NC.