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Darwin Benedict Ludi


I entered the US Navy in Nov. of 1968. My draft notice(June) ordered me to report to Fort Bliss, TX. My wife being pregnant wit our first child I decided to join the Baby because they had a 90 day deferment plan in place. That allowed me to see the birth of our first child. Not knowing where the Navy would take me I just to make sure that if I never returned at least I had seen my son.
Once I finished Boot Camp I was picked to be a Corpsman. I thought that was fine since I was a college grad and had a great science background in medicine as well. Even though I did not seek to be an officer I knew I could be of benefit during my time in the Navy.
After Corpsmen school where i served as the Education PO I received orders to a 14 month school where I would be trained for laboratory duty.
That school took place at Naval Hospital San Diego.
Once my training was over I received orders to Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital where I served in the laboratory until my enlistment ended. While at NHCP I was in charge of the Blood Bank. Every week on Thursday morning companies of Marines would arrive to have units of blood taken. We the processed the blood so that it would be sent to Vietnam(via New Jersey). While at the Hospital at Camp Pendleton I met many fellow Corpsmen and Pathologists that after my service influenced what I would do in life. Many of those I served with (80%) had college degrees. Some eventually were ordered to Nam to set up hospital laboratories in new military hospitals in South Vietnam.
In my opinion having worked in civilian hospital laboratories after my time in the Navy we had the best crew ever.
My first job after leaving the Navy was because of one of the Navy Pathologists I served with at Camp Pendleton.
The photo I have added was the civilian(Marine Wife) who was the millionth unit of blood drawn for Vietnam. Unfortunately I do not know her name but I believe she was from North Carolina.

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