I grew up in San Salvador, El Salvador, where I attended various Catholic primary and secondary schools and the university (UCA). I completed two years of a four-year economics degree. I graduated from High School in 1969 when Neil Armstrong spoke the first word from the moon: “Houston… tranquility base here the Eagle has landed…” and the Soccer War stopped the Salvadoran genocide perpetrated in Honduras. In November of 1972, I immigrated to the United States with my mother, twin brother, and little sister and settled in Hollywood, California. As a US resident, through the Selective Service System, I became subject to military conscription, a general draft based on registration lists of men aged 18–25 and reported for active duty to the US Army in September 1973 at Fort Ord.
After boot camp, I was shipped to Redstone Arsenal Missile and Munition Center and School. I earned a Light Air Defense Radar Repairman (MOS 27F2L) certificate for the Chaparral heat-seeking missile launching station and the towed Vulcan 20 mm Air Defense System (VADS). My permanent duty station was in Bitburg, FRG, which included two Reforges (mock invasion of Europe) with a three-month TDY in Crete, Greece, for NATO maneuvers. It was during this time that I became a naturalized American citizen. We only fought the daily Cold War against the Warsaw Pack nations. Greg and his brother Kevin Gerou of Gig Harbor, WA, were my best buddies. With them and other friends, we trekked Europe, especially Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Toledo, and Madrid), and crossed the English Channel at Dunkirk for ferry to UK. Because of my curly hair, Greg nicknamed me “Scrub.” I was awarded the National Defense Service and Good Conduct medals and many letters of commendation. Surely, I remember the traumatic service separation at Fort Jackson, South Carolina…had to surrender one of my beloved field jackets!
It took me a long time to stop saying “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” to the freaking civilians while drifting all over the various States until settling in Thousand Oaks, CA, where I took a job as an electronic technician, went to college using my GI Bill benefits and earned two degrees AA and BA. Then, I committed the biggest catastrophe…the whole enchilada: I married, bought a house, had two children, and got divorced. And after working in the aerospace industry for thirty-five years, I retired and became an author publishing books to this day.