In June of 1969 I received my "Greetings" from Uncle Sam. He informed me I was being inducted into the U.S. Army for two years and I would be reporting to Fort Polk, Louisiana on August 14, 1969 to begin my two years of Army service.
On August 12, 1969 I walked into the Navy recruiter's office and enlisted. Instead of two years in the Army I was now committed to four years in the Navy. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made and it set me on a course for the rest of my life.
I reported to Recruit Training Center in Orlando, Florida on November 6, 1969. During boot camp we were all tested for various skills and abilities. I was told I had an uncanny ability to learn Morse Code very rapidly. After boot camp I was sent to Naval Communications Training Center in Pensacola, Florida. It was a very intense and lengthy school and while there I received orders to U.S. Navy Security Group in Puerto Rico.
My duties as a Communications Technician CTR were listening to Morse Code radio traffic from anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean. After a year in Puerto Rico the CTR Morse Code ratings were reduced and I was reassigned as a Navy Postal Clerk.
I completed my two year tour of duty in Puerto Rico in June of 1972. I was flown from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Subic Bay, Philippines for duty aboard USS SARSFIELD DD837 as Ship's Postal Clerk. Our ship was on the gunline mostly in North Vietnamese waters.
After leaving the gun line we had liberty in Japan, Hong Kong, Pearl Harbor, and San Diego. We returned to our homeport of Mayport, Florida on October 1972.
In May of 1973 we reported for duty in the Mediterranean Sea. Our liberty ports were Gibraltar, Rota, Spain, Nice, France, Toulon, France, Naples, Italy, and Genoa, Italy.
In September 1973 I was flown to an Army base in Germany, to an Air Force Base in Delaware, and was put on a bus to Navy Yards in Philadelphia. I was processed out on September 24, 1973 and returned home to Galveston.
I am so very thankful to U.S. Navy for both jobs I had. I used my Navy postal experience to get a job with the Galveston Post Office and I worked there until retirement in 2005.
My time in the Navy was only four years but it charted a course for the rest of my life. I am forever thankful and proud of my Navy service.
On 13 April 1972, she got underway for an entirely different deployment. Proceeding via the Panama Canal, she arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines, on 11 May. Throughout the summer, Sarsfield plied the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, first as plane guard for the carrier Saratoga, then, patrolling off Hainan Island. She also participated in shore bombardment missions. She departed the gunline on 12 September; stopped at Hong Kong for six days of liberty (15 to 21 September) and at Yokosuka, Japan, for four days (25 to 29 September); and then, got underway to return to the United States.She entered San Diego on 13 October, transited the Panama Canal on 21 October, and reentered Mayport on 25 October. Upon her return, she resumed local operations out of Mayport. This employment continued until 29 May 1973, when she weighed anchor to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.
After my discharge from the US Navy I returned to home to Galveston and using my training from the Navy I work for the Post Office until my retirement in 2005.
I was invited by Fernando Perez to join Post 880 in May of 2010. I joined and was immediately installed as Post Quartermaster. I held the Quartermaster position from 2010-2012. I resigned my post in May of 2012 because of a procedural disagreement with the Post Commander. I immediately transferred my membership to Hitchcock VFW. I returned to Galveston VFW in 2015 after being invited to return to the post. When I found out the previous Commander was gone I did return to Post 880. I am very pleased with the way things are at Post 880 now and proud to be a member.
I am retired and living in La Marque. I am also a member of Galveston Elks Lodge. Elks are very supportive of Veterans. I believe Elks and VFW can work together to assist and support veterans.
What I look like today