SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP; MEAL A DAY AND YOU HEALTH; is happiness @ I’ll be home for Christmas – 1974 Vietnam.

22 Dec

I will be to the point;

I was Twenty (2o) years of age;

Out of Naval “Boot Camp”.

Recently, married on the Naval Training Command in the North Chapel; San Diego, California in March of 1974.

I was then posted / stationed to isolated duty; no wives; after one (1) month of being married.  And to an Island in the British Indian Ocean Territories, “Diego Garcia” with it palm trees, ninety (90) and above degree weather; to live in a Southeastern Asian Hut, outdoor showers and drink water made from an ocean desalting condenser barge process.

This Island is 500 miles south of India; and 500 miles east of Madagascar, Africa.

Well, after nine (9) months on the Island of Diego Garcia of the British Indian Ocean Territory as an Island Commander Administrative Specialist and Honor Guard; I was granted leave to fly home; to the United States and of course to my dutiful wife; in Lewiston, Maine.

While flying from the Island of Diego Garcia of the British Indian Ocean Territories to Bangkok, Thailand to catch the first leg of my trip; and than to the United States of America we refueled, at Bombay, India; Tel Aviv, Israel, ( where the plane was suddenly surrounded with Israeli troops for our protection; to think I was being protected by the Israelis ), Frankfort , Germany, Heathrow Airport, England to the United States of America.

While, refueling in Bombay, India; I, had an opportunity to disembark the aircraft; “PAN AMERICAN ONE (1)”

While, I was in a crispy new 1970’s United States Naval Enlisted Uniform ( And, not the Cracker Jack uniform; as the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Zumwalt had changed the Enlisted Uniform to resemble the Officer’s of the Naval Service. ) and cocky; after all I was only 21 years of age.

To think, at age twenty-one (21), I had an opportunity to observe the living condition of the people’s of India.  Remember, this was in 1974 and all I can say is that India was depressing.

At this point I realized that compared to India the United States of America was a sparkling – gleaming – crystal cathedral; palace, castle of a land.

Incidentally, while in flight on the Pan American 747; prior, to landing the pilot’s let me into the Cockpit for a look from their perspective; as it was a different time than today.  The plane also came with; top, of plane air viewing bar.

On waiting for re boarding the aircraft a new 747 Pan American one (1) aircraft.

I, asked an on duty Military India Security Officer, “How can you people live like this”; referring, to the living conditions of his country and his tattered resewed darned uniform? “

His answer change my worldly view; his, answer to my question was is follows:

“ALL YOU NEED TO BE HAPPY; IS, A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP, A  MEAL A DAY AND YOUR HEALTH; for, everything else is;  “EXTRA” . (How true in to days world.)

I, surprised my family in Naval Dress Uniform; and, will never forget the India Security Officer word’s and the look on my families face when they saw me come through the door.

On conclusion of my leave (Time off); the, return trip to the Island of Diego Garcia was rough for me.

But, duty and honor was the call of my youth; as, my father fought in World War II and Korea at that time once duty and not like today.

Think, about it; I have for over forty (44) years; and, have a great Holiday.