I suppose you could say my military life began in 1967 at Travis Air Force Base near/in Fairfield, California. My dad was active duty enlisted Air Force as well, but he was smart and got out after his first enlistment.
My personal military career began in July of 1985 at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. What can I say about that besides sucked. You had no free will during this period. They ordered and you obeyed. They yelled and you jumped. You basically volunteered to be treated like you were in "Romper Room". They shaved your hair off and you got stupid. Don't believe it if you want, but that is what happens. They read your mail, rushed you through your meals, make you feel like dirt, and the worst part is that you asked for it. Then I was over.
Then I was bused off to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas for more training. The bus ride must have been 8 bzillion years long. This is where I learned how to be a successful computer operator. Have you ever fallen asleep while typing? I didn't think it possible, but I wasn't the only one with this unusual gift. I would have gone nuts if it weren't for my good bud, Dave Melcarek. I managed to graduate my technical training on Halloween of that same year.
My next base (and longest stay so far) was at McClellan Air Force Base, California (2049CS, 652ISG, then 77CS - 12/1985 through 11/1994). There I made some great lifelong friends like Chris Randall, Ken Fugate, (and AD&D companions, like Rob Rankin, Lorne Ryland, Chad Pope, and Don Gass). Hey, when you stay in one place as long as I did, you are bound to make a few friends. Don Gass, I might add was my inspiration for getting into the Amiga from the very start. Thanks Don!
Then late 1994 I got the news: Congratulations you have been promoted to Staff Sergeant (E-5) AND here are your orders to Osan Air Base, South Korea. By mid-November there I was alone in a strange place (for a year) and IT SUCKED (as shown in these pix), and probably still does suck. If it wasn't for AD&D and my Amiga filling my spare time I probably would not have survived it sane. I would like to thank my players during that time: Tim Meadows, Alex Scoble, and Jerry Delmore. How three players could fight amongst themselves so much and still enjoy the game is beyond me, but thanks just the same. Also, my thanks go to Rob Nowicki at Osan for all his Amiga help and advise. I did survive the 7ACOMS at Osan to finally be reunited with my family.
The 15CS Hickam AFB in Honolulu Hawaii (my light at the end of the tunnel, or so I thought) was my next destination. Here I met my most recent Amiga mentor/friend/support group Wolf Mark Elsevier). He is the coolest (even though he doesn't play AD&D and chose a poor career choice, the Navy). My next monster Amiga's existence was in thanks to my good friend Joe Schlosser, who practically gave it to me. Thanks Joe!!
I worked in the Automated Digital Weather Switch (ADWS) for a little more than a year. Here I played a lot of AD&D and basically babysat some computer terminals. I fought to get out of that massively boring job to where I am now. Have you ever heard the phrase the grass is always greener on the other side? Well, the job is better, but the stress is much, much higher.
I volunteered to work in Computer Requirements. My boss (Clint Walker) made me love the Air Force and my work once again. This is also where I begin to get my foot into the computer networking world. From there I worked as the Hickam Webmaster, then I ran the base DNS, RAS, DHCP, & Firewall sections. It was a long and trying road at times, but I enjoyed it. My final job was as a Network Control Center Crew Commander. These jobs spanned a full eight years. My family and I left the land of paradise in March of 2004.
My final fateful destination was the 3rd Herd at Tinker Air Force Base (32CCS). This life is ultimately poised to deploy to distant lands and provide communications while the other services blow things up. I guess it is cool in its own way. So long as I can retire in a year in one piece!