How military service changed my life

Mundelein, IL

Borrowed shoes, rented apartments, early-age work to supplement family income, sharing toys and clothes with my brother, no extra money for childhood events - all gave me an overall understanding, that except for the essentials in life, there was no money for luxury items. College was not an option because finances were not available.
In 1964 I turned to the Air Force and the GI Bill. Education was at my fingertips. Service to my country with patriotism and honor would open college doors. My new life began! I married Claudia, attended college in Missouri, had three lovely children, taught high school in Lake Forest, Ill.., bought my first house in 1977, and after 34 years of teaching, retired in 2004. I still have my beautiful wife and children but have added a daughter-in-law and two wonderful granddaughters to my family. I’m enjoying a fruitful life.
How did the military change my life? It gave me hope, security, and the education necessary to provide for my family in ways that my parents were not able to do.

Lawrence M. “Pie” Piemontese
Vietnam-era veteran
USAF 1964-1970

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