5 October 1973 – Forty-Six Years Ago!
I still remember standing there with my friend Patty, raising my hand, and taking the oath as my knees knocked making my 1970’s red and white plaid pants shake. The two men standing in the back of the room were having a good time making bets that I wasn’t going to make it through boot camp. (Not sure which one bet against me — or for how much.)
(Doesn’t that Army captain look thrilled to be changing my life?)
In the back of the room stood Mark and Dave discussing the fact that they thought I was only doing it because Patty was. And to be honest, at first, I was. But I fooled them! I fooled myself, too! (So glad Mother sent the camera along with Mark to take the pictures. There’s nothing like a picture to bring back old memories!)
Mark and Dave are no longer with us, but I talked to both of them in later years and was able to tell both of my success after boot camp. I made it a full 30 years and 27 days all the way to the top of the enlisted food chain!
I remember Mother asking Mark what the pineapple stood for in the middle of his shirt sleeve. He explained the ‘bursting bomb.’ She said, “Oh! And all those stripes! You must be at the top!” He said, ‘No, ma’am,
‘ I’m the ‘Tip Top!’ –Well, Mother, I made it to the ‘Tip Top, Too!” I’m sure she knows that, but I wish she would have been here to see it!
Master Gunnery Sergeant Mark Moyer Gunnery Sergeant Dave Witman