Not quite ready for enlistment

It's 1958 and after visiting my Navy recruiter to enlist, he said I was to report the following day to the induction center in Chicago to be checked in, but I could then go home for a day before reporting back. The next day, proceeding through the physical and other requirements, something didn't seem right. My concern was heightened when we went through the swearing-in ceremony, and were then told to place our personal gear, clothes, etc. in a room to be picked up for the ride to Great Lakes Training Ctr. I panicked because I had only the clothes on my back, no money, and a last date with my girl that night. Things didn't look good. I was able to convince the authorities of my plight, and was allowed a short time to visit my father's office close by to borrow some money. I bought some toiletries, and upon my return we exited for the train station. Once at Great Lakes we were to undergo indoctrination for 2 weeks before beginning boot camp, when we would be issued clothing, but again, all I had was what I wore. A fellow recruit lent me enough of his to get me through, so all was well. Thankfully, my girl forgave me, but neither of us could forgive that overzealous recruiter.

David E. Sieben, Niantic, Conn.

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