8 January. Not a day that will live in infamy but it is at the top of my list of “days things happened to me that are important”. My big three are the day I got married – 24 July, the day my daughter was born – 25 January and 8 January 1974 – the day I got off the bus at Marine Corp Recruit Depot San Diego and stood on the yellow painted footprints on the tarmac. It was the beginning of my life. Anything before that was trivial. Ask any Marine. I cannot really say this is necessarily a good thing, especially considering what it involved, but it is just what it is. The next 4 years and 4 months were filled with the events that will affect me until I finally pass on. I got to see a lot of the world; Thailand, Philippines, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Washington, D.C. (I would really like to go back to Thailand now that people have quit shooting. The other places not so much.) The Marine Corps actually got me into teaching. After Thailand I was assigned as a weapons and tactics instruction at Quantico, VA. I taught Second Lieutenants how to shoot things and blow things up. A classroom with 40 or so very attentive students. (The attentive part is not like teaching kids but you get the point. It is amazing how focused students are when using weapons or explosives. Mistakes can be very bad.) I liked figuring out how to show people how to do difficult things.
I hung around in the military for 38 years with a one year break after the Marine Corps. (It took me that long to wind down. PTSD had not been invented yet.) 8 January led to my BA in Education and my MA in Education. Heck, it even paid for them.
How many people can point to one date in their life and say this is when things actually started happening?