Bill's Vignettes

This is my story. It will consist of little pictures, snippets, or vignettes, from my past. It is a legacy to my children and grandchildren and those that may come after and hopefully will also be of some interest to the casual reader who doesn't know me from Adam.

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Last Day of Boot Camp

Posted by sundoulos2005 on September 5, 2007

Reveille on July 7, 1964 sounded at 0530 hours, as usual. This morning all awakened with a renewed energy. We were leaving Great Lakes. We were going home. We were starting our Navy adventure. All of us were promoted from seaman recruit to seaman apprentice (or aviation apprentice, construction apprentice, etc.) and received our orders to our next duty station. We had been advised some days ago where we were going. My orders were to FLTASWSCL, SDiego. That’s Fleet Anti-submarine Warfare School, San Diego, California where I would attend Torpedoman “A” school. Everything in the Navy has an acronym. I was beginning to learn them.

In my blog entry entitled “My Recruit Training Company Commander,” I mentioned that our CO had a sense of humor. We, the recruits, did not always appreciate it because sometimes it was at our expense. So it was today. Our seabags were outside the barracks, the barracks themselves were cleaned spotless and had passed inspection. We were chatting animatedly, excited about our futures. Then came the CO who informed us we had one more duty to fulfill. He formed us up and marched us to the barber for our last haircut — a boot camp special — which means everything off.

That being done, we marched back to the company area and soon the buses came that would take us to our immediate destinations: O’Hare International Airport, the bus stations, or the train station. I had opted to go home on the New York Central’s “Twentieth Century Limited.”

I arrived back in Rochester early the next morning for two week’s leave. Boot camp was over. I was on my way to being a sailor.

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