Along with my twin brother, Don, I enlisted in the Navy Reserve during our junior year of high school. After graduation we attended a 16-week Class “A” Hospital Corpsman School in Great Lakes, IL.
After graduation we were assigned to Oakland Naval Hospital in Oakland, CA. The hospital was also called “Oak Knoll”. The VA hospital treated wounded Vietnam casualties and offered prosthetics, dialysis, tissue grafts, psychiatry, and patient care to other veterans.
I received orders for Camp Pendleton Marine Base for a five-week FMF training to become an 8404 field corpsman. I was then sent to Vietnam for a thirteen-month tour. I was assigned to Second Battalion, First Marine Division Hotel Company. We were 26 miles south of Da Nang, Vietnam.
I treated over 200 casualties and was wounded twice. Received the Bronze Star with a combat “V” and the Silver Star medal.
After Vietnam, I returned to my hometown and continued my time with the Naval Reserve. In January 1991 I receiver orders for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. I was in the Gulf of Bahrain in Saudi Arabia, FH 500 CBTZ 6/22 till 15 April 1991.
After 31 years in the reserve program, my twin brother and I retired as E-9 master chief corpsman from the same reserve center in which we enlisted. We were the only twin (HMCM) master chief corpsman in the U.S. Navy.