My Quest for Military Service

I didn’t serve in the military. Back in the 1970’s when the draft was still going and the Vietnam War was raging, it was my goal to legally avoid military service and avoid being a front line grunt in Vietnam.

By late 1972, I was classified 1-A, available for unrestricted military service and my draft number was 16. My goose was cooked when the time came.

Fortunately the war ended in 1973, “peace with honor”, and the draft was abolished.

Years later, my mother confided in me that she was not about to let her only son serve as cannon fodder in Vietnam. If the time came, she was fully prepared to support me in Canada as a conscientious objector to the war. I would have frozen my ass off.

I don’t think I would have gone to Canada to avoid the war. At 18 however, I was far from any military material.

Fast forward to 1980, I have a college degree, I am married to my first wife Gigi, and we are in the midst of a Jimmy Carter economy. The outlook for a good job was poor, and the thoughts of being an officer in the Air Force seemed appealing.

I mean, the dress uniforms looked really nice and as I understood it, you would fly over targets, drop bombs on targets, and go home and sleep in a real bed at night.

I went to the recruiter and discovered that yes they would like me, but my vision was too poor, even to be a navigator on a bomber. They suggested I go down the hall to the Navy.

Sounds good, my Dad was a navy man in World War II, and the dress uniforms, come to think of it, are bitchin’.

Oh yes the Navy wanted me, I would be an officer, get a cool uniform, and be underwater in a sub 6 months under the polar ice cap spying on the Soviet Union in a tube packed full of men.

This didn’t sound appealing to a newly wed so it marked the end of my quest for military service to my country.

Fast forward to 2007, and I am listening to a podcast from a St Croix, VI talk radio station. Their guest on the show was the local grand poo-bah with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is a group of civilian volunteers that act as the eyes and ears of the real Coast Guard.

The way he explained it, I could join and quit at my every whim, ride in very fast boats, and wear a uniform that differed very little from a real coast guard uniform.

I explained this to Gigi and she said, “Oh yeah honey, you’re going to look just like one of those young Navel Academy officers at Annapolis”, and she rolled her eyes.

Then she said, “What the hell am I going to do while you ride around in a fast boat?”

Maybe I should think about this.


Ali said...

Well a man in uniform is always a pretty hot specimen - unless it's like, a prisoner's uniform or something.
You might have frozen your ass off in Canada for a little while, but once you realized that we actually have clothing designed BECAUSE it gets so cold here - you would have been fine. I would show you the ropes.
That Gigi, she's so awesome - her responses to you make me squeal in delight every day.

Michael said...

The Coast Guard Auxiliary does have a nice fast-looking boat in the yard at the St. Croix Yacht Club, but so far, I've only seen it sit on a trailer in the yard. I've never seen any members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary out on the water. I've only seen them behind a table at Jump-Up trying to convince other middle-aged men to indulge their mid-life military fantasy.

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Well, maybe I'll join at the next Jump Up... I am middle aged, they do have a boat, and I saw a uniform online.

I would look kind of spiffy walking down the boardwalk in my dress whites. Maybe I would get compted a beer being a military man.

Gigi said...

Hey,you know what ??? It just dawned on me, two can play this game...I'll join too!! Boy , how good would I look in that white uniform!!!Of course it would have a stain on it within minutes.

Liv said...

Gigi might look a little better in that uniform... or she might just run around meeting random bloggers at campsites while you ride in that fast boat.

Anonymous said...

Well this will be totally off topic, but you referred in this post to your "first wife, Gigi." Does the current Gigi know about the prior Gigi?

Gigi said...

Good catch on the 1st wife comment Terri!
Although he uses it at social gatherings all the time & if they're listening they'll walk away looking 'baffled' to say the least :).

Stacy said...

Marines have the hottest uniforms by far.