Half-Century Mark: 1967-2017

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Half-Century Mark: 1967-2017

Granite High School [SLC, UT] Photo by: S. Rossi
As with any high school graduation, the day seems to be but a distant time from the first day as a freshman, in the fall four years prior, until the wondrous occasion of graduation day from high school; closing a chapter of one’s young life to begin a new one as a “young teen adult” heading out to conquer the world …  Sadness and excitement all mixed together with a touch of queasiness stepping into an unknown future…
My future had been set four months prior to graduation day: for the next four years I would belong to the U. S. Navy…  The draft was still in existence so I made the decision to have a bit of control over which branch of service I would end up in; the Vietnam War was but a nightly television series played out in living rooms across the nation in living color by ABC, CBS and NBC – cable TV was but a dream for the future…  Soon I would be a player in that series aboard a U.S. naval ship, the U.S.S. Tombigbee – an old ship from WWII converted from service as a water barge to service as a gasoline tanker…
It would be years later when I found out that my good friend from those high school days – Gerard Wolterman – had been killed by “friendly fire” in Vietnam (Kontum Province) a year later (11 June 1968) after our graduation…  So sad…

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