Fifty years ago on February 9, 1970, I enlisted in the Unites States Navy.
I was 17-years-old.
I raised my hand and swore an oath to the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia, PA and then I boarded a train to Chicago and then on to the Naval Training Center at Great Lakes. (Don't I look happy in the above photo?)
After graduating from Boot Camp three months later, I received orders to report to the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk at Bremerton, Washington, where the carrier was undergoing an overhaul.
Some months later we sailed to San Diego and began sea trials and training for our combat cruise to Southeast Asia.
The Kitty Hawk later shoved off to take our place on "Yankee Station," off the coast of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
We also made port of calls in Hawaii, the Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong.
Looking back after all these years, it was quite an adventure for a young man.
And I remain proud of my service in the U.S. Navy.