The chow hall toothbrush of 1976 at Great Lakes, Ill.

At Great Lake Naval Recruit Station, you would have worked some place on base for two weeks. I worked in the chow hall. While waiting in line to eat, they would make recruits bunch up. The head guy would yell, "Okay, you guys—nut to butt," which meant close ranks.

I worked the chow hall line, meaning we served the food. You would have to take a right turn just before you got your food. There was about 20 feet of wall you would have to stand next to.

I had a toothbrush and if a recruit touched the wall—even just a tiny bit, I would make that recruit brush the wall, and then he would be last in line. They did not give a lot of time to eat, so it was a double bummer.

The Navy was a lot different in 1976. We did a lot of stuff they could never do today. It was fun then.

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