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From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586)
Subject: Re: Questions on EE job market.
References: <73rv9.481$R55.20906@newsfep2-gui> <email@example.com> <3DBF2973.54B0901A@webaccess.net> <_nMv9.firstname.lastname@example.org> <3DBFD69C.C8474CB1@mfi.net> <3DBFE986.21FEB881@webaccess.net> <3DC05D84.D6FB9FA4@mfi.net> <3DC087A0.6A045888@webaccess.net> <3DC09F35.6F2E1B91@mfi.net>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 05:09:07 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 21:09:07 PST
"Michael A. Terrell" wrote:
> Chuck Simmons wrote:
> > Actually, I've known a number of people with military histories that are
> > similar to mine and to yours. I think Kevin will dislike me still more.
> > Back in 1969 when I got my letter, although my enthusiasm was extremely
> > low for the military, I realized that by enlisting I might be able to
> > make satisfactory arrangements up front. Therefore, I visited a
> > recruiter. He arranged testing and showed me my options which seemed to
> > be limited only by starting dates for training. I picked 5 MOSs I
> > considered to be appropriate to my experience. So I reported in Oakland,
> > CA on the 5th of July rather than in Phoenix, Az on the 6th.
> Now I am fighting with the VA over medical benefits. It took about
> nine months to get my VA medical card only to be told that I have to
> wait 21 to 25 months to see a doctor. I am currently unable to work
> more than an hour or two per day, and it is getting quite old. When I
> was younger I could pick up a V-8 short block. Now, 20 pounds is more
> than I can handle, most days. I'm glad you knew other guys that didn't
> go the normal route through their time in the service. I didn't have
> that luxury, and I caught a lot of hell because I refused to play by
> their rules. The first day at the TV station the station manager told
> me that there wasn't a civilian who knew anything about electronics, and
> he didn't believe I could do my job because I didn't spend time at Ft
> Monmoth. He pulled every dirty trick he could to get me in trouble, but
> I had friends in the right places. It is fun to remember those days,
> and that they never managed to get me down.
Maybe I was lucky. I don't know. It was a purely technical unit. My
first day at the transmitter site after a bus ride of about 15 miles on
dirt roads, I was greeted by the sergeant major who was in charge. He
said they had been waiting for me and I would be working with SFC Petty
who was in charge of maintenance. Petty had come from a small town in
the Ozarks if I remember correctly and had learned everything he knew
about his job in the army. Far from resentful of me, he had been looking
forward to having someone like me to pass on his detailed knowledge of
the site to because he was scheduled to leave in a few months. And, in
about two years time, I had his problem because my time was running out.
I had to "pass the torch" so to say.
From day one until I climbed the stairs onto the Boeing 720B that took
me on my first leg of the journey home, I had been among people I liked.
Not just the people I worked with but also the people of the country.
The only real friction I had was with the company first sargeant who
disliked me very much. He was a fair man and his dislike was never put
into action against me. Shortly before I left, he once got accidentally
trapped with me at the NCO club when everyone else at the table left for
work. He lightened up considerably to make the best of it and we had an
actual conversation for the first time in more than two years. I decided
that in spite of contrary indications, he was actually human.
I never really knew the CO, Colonel Higgs, when I was there even though
he created some of my worst problems. He figured that since there was no
such thing as depot level for us that we could do depot level on
anything so occasionally, I was working on equipment I had never seen
before and had no proper test equipment for. In the long run, however, I
considered him a better CO than the previous one who didn't seem to
understand what we did and decided to play it safe and do nothing.
Colonel Higgs had confidence in his men and we all knew it. My feeling
seems to be widespread in that at the next Kagnew Station reunion, there
are plans to honor Colonel Higgs at a special dinner. I plan to be there
We actually had a tradition in our unit. When you got to the top of the
steps to get onto the plane out, it was obligatory to face the airport
terminal and make a certain obscene gesture. This was especially
required of people like me who were out of the army when they left.
Maybe I was lucky.
... The times have been,
That, when the brains were out,
the man would die. ... Macbeth
Chuck Simmons email@example.com
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