After volunteering for the draft in Dec. ’64, officially reported for duty on Feb. 11th 1965.
When I was sworn in, the guy next to me was Ed Haggerty – US 52-620-723. He lived in the same 6300 block, 3 streets up from my home. We went through the entire tour of duty together. Basic Training, Survey training, and finally “Denver Party” in Ethiopia.
Basic training at Fort Gordon, GA completed April ‘65
Topographic Surveyor training at Ft. Belvoir, Va. April ’65 to Sept. ‘65
Shipped over to Wheelus AFB, Libya to the 64th Engineer Battalion Sept.’65. After a month at Wheelus, shipped flew to Ethiopia, via Germany, France, Greece, then finally Ethiopia.
Assigned to “Denver Party” Oct. ’65. Flew out to Nagele on the DC-3 supply plane. Traveled to Dolo Bay, near the Somalia-Kenya-Ethiopian Boarders. We were shot at for two nights, with one of our Ethiopian Army guard wounded in the arm. We kill one of the shooters. (No Combat pay either!). Traveled west to Mega. Ran Level Lines from Mega across Lake Stephanie (now called Ch’eu Bahir), and Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana). Passed through the towns of Bako, Maji, Jima, Dila, Gore, Hobuk, Iavello, Soddu, Baco, and Lake Awasa.
We basically surveyed the entire southern part of Ethiopia, walking from east to west, then slightly back to the NE.
Shipped back to the USA on my birthday.
My full Tour of Duty in Ethiopia was from Sept. ’65 to Jan ‘67
Because the nearest Army Reserve unit that needed or could use a Surveyor was in Boston, Ma. I was never required to attend Army Reserve meetings.
Since I had already started college at night prior to being drafted, I went on to get a BS degree from LaSalle College in Philadelphia. I took me 8 years at night, but the GI bill paid for it.
I continued my career with SEARS (I already had 5 years in when I got drafted) for another 25 years. I worked for SEARS catalog in Philadelphia, PA; Columbus, OH; and finally at Headquarters in the SEARS Tower – Chicago, IL. After 30 years in SEARS catalog, I transferred to a small unit at SEARS Discover Card. After 8 years Discover Card sold our unit to The Associates, and two years later Citigroup then bought us.
I retired after 41 years of uninterrupted work in Feb. 2001.
I have been married to my wife Jeanette for 32 years and have two children – Mark and Amy.