Veteran’s Day brings memories of the four years I spent in the U.S. Air Force (USAF). Back in my day, it was a different world as the Draft was still in effect. One had two choices: do nothing and hope they would not get drafted due to a deferment or just plain dumb luck or volunteer, serve their time and get on with their life.
I chose the latter. Upon fulfilling my commitment of 4 years, 0 months, 0 days as stated on my DD 214 I once again became a civilian. I remember the First Sergeant telling me I should stay in the service as I’d probably starve on the outside since I wouldn’t be getting my guaranteed daily “Three Hots and a Flop.”
Back in my day, one did not have much of a choice of what career field they were assigned to subsequent to completion of basic training. All of the personnel in my Basic Training Flight ended up with a medical-related AFSC; everybody in the Flight in the barracks next to ours were assigned to fields with motor pool AFSCs.
Following basic training I spent an additional three month’s stay at Lackland AFB to attend Basic Medical Training followed by three more months at Gunter AFS to attend Medical Administrative Specialist (AFSC 906×0) Training.
From there I was assigned to the 551st USAF Hospital at Otis AFB where I spent the remainder of my time in the USAF.
So what usable civilian skills did my four years of service to my country get me?
- learned how to make a bed and wash my own clothes
- learned that I had no desire to work in the food service field (KP duty!!!)
- some basic first aid skills
- the ability to type 20 words per minute.
If I had to do it over again, would I? Probably!!