Member of the Month
Air Force -- E4 -- 4/64-4/68
Paul was swept up in the federal panic following President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963. Every person of his age who had not been through the pre-induction process received an invitation from their local draft board. Paul said his was postmarked the following Thursday. After the exam and testing, a bureaucrat neglected to compare his height and weight and mistakenly classified him as 1A, “prime meat”.
This wake-up call caused him to check other options since he was not the outdoors type and had never even fired a weapon. The local Air Force recruiter suggested that he had a perfect spot for him on his needs chart and stated that he would be much better off with “four in a bed instead of two in a ditch”.
He enlisted, did basic training, technical school and arrived at his first duty station 10 ½ months later, March 1965. After about one year in the field, Paul said that he decided that the officers were not all that smart and sharp; they just had a college degree. He had never considered college only having a vocational and technical high school diploma. Between tech school and studying for his “five” level exam he decided that he might try college now that he had the GI Bill for financial assistance when he got out.
He was sent to Alaska in October of 1966 and was afforded the ability to take college courses at the University of Alaska on base. Taking the college level courses convinced him that he should go to college when he was discharged. He took the SAT exam at the college and was distressed to find out how much of the exam covered information that he had never seen before.
Paul’s father told him about a school in Indiana (Tri-State College) that he had considered attending after WWII. They did not have family quarters at that time so he settled for night school at NYU. The school specialized in taking GI’s who were out of school for a long period and getting them ready for college level work. Paul applied and was accepted.
Paul separated from active duty in April 1968, went back to New York and being a skilled printer he found work and threw himself into the task of building a nest egg. He started his college career by completing one year of high school level work in one quarter to prepare for the college level electrical engineering curriculum. After a year plus of EE work, he decided that EE was not for him and transferred into the business school’s computer information processing curriculum.
Paul graduated from Tri-State in June 1972 with a 3.11/4.0 GPA, returned to New York and built a career in computer programming. He married the love of his life and, after 25 plus years of various programming positions, he and his wife retired and moved to Las Vegas.
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