I entered the USAF on 3 Nov 65 at the age of 17. Following a bus ride to New Haven CT and a seemingly endless physical we were flown to Lackland AFB for Basic Training. Post Basic Training & Basic Training II, I was sent to Shepard AFB for Teletype repair and classified Cryptology courses. I was given a Top-Secret Crypto Clearance that remained active through my years of service.
I was then assigned to Eglin AFB, FL where I immediately volunteered for TDY duty. I had no wife or children so I was free to go wherever I was needed on short notice. For the next 3 years, my records remained at Eglin while I was physically elsewhere throughout the world for a varying number of days/weeks/months. To my knowledge those assignments were and still are classified so I will not list them by name.
In 1968 I was sent to Frankfurt Germany. Our barracks accommodated ~10 guys. As our work area was in downtown Frankfurt, so was our accommodations. I assigned to the I.G. Farben Hockhaus, 4 stories underground. Within a short time of my arrival, the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia. We were certain that Germany was next and we were on High Alert for a week or so that seemed like forever.
One TDY that I can report was to Athens Greece. It was a one-man duty station and the guy went home to get married. I spent 10 days there working about an hour a day. The rest of my days were sight-seeing and beach time. I stayed with a Greek couple who treated me very special. Every lunch was a huge Greek salad----all from there garden.
I was promoted to E5 sometime in 1969, I believe. I was unofficially assigned out my MOS for the last year of my tour. The base Commander approved my switchover to maintain the entire mainframe into the secure vault. I worked alone. Received multiple commendations and enjoyed my time working alone and handling such an important assignment.
Finally, I had to decide to reenlist or not. At the time I thought to myself “I’d be 37 when I got out---an old man!” So, I passed and was discharged from Active Duty in 1972, Two years later I was discharged from the USAF Reserves.
I’ve often thought that I should have stayed in. But after almost 8 years I was burned out. Maybe if I had better duty assignments my attitude may have been different. It is what is.
I may not have become a “lifer”, but my patriotism has never been stronger