I grew up as a Military "Brat" and, in general, loved the experience. I have lived in almost all areas of the United States and have spent several years overseas. Dad was a career Air Force officer who joined the Army Air Corps just before the outbreak of World War II and just before I was born.
Although it was often hard to uproot, leave friends and familiar surroundings and move on to new places every few months or years, I feel that the variety and depth of experiences more than compensated for the disruption. I have frequently looked back with the observation that there is no place we lived that I would want to give up in order to have extended a previous stay. Some anonymous "brat" wrote a few lines which express a lot of how I feel about my experiences. Click here to see "Reflections of a Brat."
Here are some of the places I lived and experiences I had up until Keena and I married in 1967. After that, see "Our years together".
1941-45 Born in Salt Lake City seven months before America entered World War II. Went to Orlando, Florida where Dad went to Fighter Command School. Also lived in San Francisco for awhile. Dad served in the Pacific during the war. I don't have many memories of these years although I do remember the headlines and the celebrating at the end of the war. 1945-46 Leavenworth, Kansas. Attended kindergarten here. Dad at Command and General Staff School. 1946-47 San Pablo (Bay Area), California. First grade. I remember the smell of the oil refineries and San Francisco bay. Dad at Tilden Park Air Defense Facility. 1947-49 Lakewood and Parkland, Washington (one year each). Second and third grades. Dad at McChord Air Base. 1949-50 Fairfax, California. Third & fourth grades. Dad at Hamilton Air Base. 1950-51 Montgomery, Alabama. Fourth & fifth grades. We lived in military housing on Gunter Air Base. I remember climbing all over WWII planes when dad would let me join him on the flight line. Dad was assigned to Maxwell Air Base. Before we moved on base, I remember attending a very small rural school with six grades in one room - one row of desks for each grade. After that, I went to school on base at Maxwell. 1951-53 Wallkill, New York. Fifth, sixth and part of seventh grades. Dad assigned to Stewart Air Base but he spent a lot of time in Greenland with the developing DEW (Distant Early Warning) system. We lived on a farm with many memories: milking cows; driving trucks and tractors; harvesting wheat, corn and hay; playing in the hayloft and swimming in a spring fed pond. Had my first experience at marching band (drums) at school. 1953-56 Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dad was at Ent Air Force Base (now the U.S. Olympic Training Center). Attended end of 7th grade and all of 8th grade at North Junior High; 9th at East Junior High; and 10th at Colorado Springs High School (later named Palmer High School). Did a lot of camping with the Boy Scouts and went into the Air Explorers, Civil Air Patrol and other activities. At 3 1/2 years, this was our longest assignment and Colorado Springs became our "hometown" during the next few years overseas. 1956-58 Ramstein, Germany. Dad was at Landstuhl and Ramstein Air Bases. We lived on base and I attended 11th & 12th grades at Kaiserslautern American High School, commuting into "K-town" each day with four busloads of Ramstein kids. These were the years of "brat" memories, mixing the cultures of Europe and America and the experiences of being teenagers in a military environment. It was a life where football, homecoming, proms, and sock hops were interspersed with evacuation drills, passport control cards, military alerts and the constant awareness of the crises of the cold war. You could live in pseudo America at the teen club, the movie theater, the PX and the commissary. But you could also visit the local Gasthaus, cruise along the Rhine, visit Hitler's Eagles Nest or be in any of a dozen countries in a six hour drive. Our senior class trip was a week long train trip to Italy. We spent nights underway in the rail car and days in Milan, Viareggio, Pisa, Florence, Rome and Venice. 1958-60 Munich, Germany. Attended the Munich Branch of the University of Maryland. Virtually all of the student body were graduates of the U.S. military high school system from all over Europe. Some of my vivid memories from these years include operas and concerts; great museums, castles and churches; the Oktoberfest, the Hofbrauhaus, and countless trips to cultural and historical sites all over Germany and its neighboring countries. Many of us became avid skiers as we hit the alps most weekends during the season. Yes, we also studied, but it seems that much of our education came from outside the classroom - from informal relationships with a great faculty, from interaction with classmates, and from travel and our many extra-curricular activities. For more, click here: Munich Reflections. 1960-61 Provo, Utah. Attended Brigham Young University. Mainly studied math and engineering related courses. This was also a period of great spiritual reflection and development. Activities included ROTC, Men's Chorus, skydiving, Alpine Club and ski instructing. 1962-64 Went back to Germany for 2 1/2 years as an L.D.S. missionary. Worked in Mannheim, Heilbronn, Ulm, Konstanz and Stuttgart. Served for seven months as counselor to the mission president. The whole mission was a deep and profound experience. 1964-67 Provo, Utah. Returned to Brigham Young University for three senior years J. Graduated in May 1967 with a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Industrial Management and a composite minor in Accounting, Economics and Statistics. Sang and toured with the A Cappella Choir and served as its president for a year. Other activities included skiing, skydiving, flying and church service.
Spent the summer of 1965 in Kenai, Alaska working on the welding crew of a natural gas pipeline. Started flying lessons there and completed my private pilot license in the fall.
In May of 1966 I flew a small plane back up to Alaska and spent the summer on Kodiak Island working as a lineman and carpenter. Continued my flight training and got a commercial license and flight instructor rating later that year. I've been flying ever since.
Keena and I met at BYU during the 1966-67 school year. We courted that year and were married in August of 1967 . . . . the best decision I ever made. Then off to Boston for two years and an MBA at the Harvard Business School..
To continue the story with "Our years together," click here.
To go to Keena's early years, click here.
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