I reported to the N&MCRTC at 30th and Laurel Street for Active Duty the first week of July 1967. Being a 3rd class Personnelman, I was assigned as an Staff Instructor – or that’s what my name badge said. It really simply distinguished the Active Duty men from those who were reservists. I was on active duty. This was a pretty wild time for me.  It was a time of driving fast cars, running around late, doing whatever I wanted to do and getting into a lot of trouble with speeding. The Training Center was pretty much just a normal job. It had not port stops like there was on the Waller and Wright, and I had to make my own excitement. I sat at a desk and just typed reports, kept records, did reenlistments, discharges, etc., etc., etc.. It was very convenient and comfortable, but there was not real adventure. As you can see in the pictures, i was promoted to PN2, Second Class Petty officer. It took place one year to the day from my promotion to 3rd class; April 16, 1968. It came as a big surprise to me because I took the test 3 times for 3rd class and I this was the first time I took it for 2nd Class. So that was a nice surprise. It made me able to sign for my own auto loans. Wow, did I take advantage of that!

My first car (after the renault) was a 1963 Chevy Belair, 4 door, sedan. It was the absolute worst car for a young single guy. But Dad thought it was a good deal and I bought it for $900. He ended up buying in from me when I wanted to trade it in for my first 1968 firebird. I got a yellow one and believe it or not I don’t have any pictures of it. I do have a clip from a movie dad took of it. I didn’t keep the yellow firebird for very long because it was just an overhead cam 6 cylinder with a three speed manual transmission. It was quick but had not real power and this was the era of the big block engines with huge horsepower. We still call it the era of the “Muscle Cars.” I had to have one, so I traded the yellow firebird in for the 400 cubic inch, 330 horsepower, firebird 400. it was a hog! It had a four speed hurst transmission and a huge 4 barrell carborator and was great for racing. I had lots of fun but most of the muscle cars could beat it. I had a friend with a GTO. It would beat the firebird. I had another friend with a PlymouthGTX and it would beat the firebird, so being the competitive fool I am, I traded in the firebird after having it for less than a year for a 1968 corvette with 350 HP. It was a lot quicker also, simply because of it’s size and weight with that 8cylinder engine. I really liked the vette. It was red when I got it, but since Iloved the Vedora Green that my firebird was, I had it painted. The guy who painted it, didn’t do all that great of a job, but it gave me the look I wanted.  When I was transferred to Greenville, SC, I actually moved everything I owned in the corvette. That was the only thing I owned! But I really made that car look good, don’t you think?

I had too many speeding tickets in Omaha and was about to lose my license from the state of Nebraska. Wit that problem coming and many other reasons, I decided to get a transfer. I ended up at the Reserve Training Center in Greenville, South Carolina. My short two years in Omaha, 1967 to 1969 were fast years in a lot ways. I worked an awful lot. I was the assistant Manager for the Pizza Hut on 56th and Ames. I think it was the first Pizza Hut in Omaha. It became my social connections.  I would get up at 7am and go to work with the Navy. We got off at 3:30pm, because we worked a couple weekends or nights during the week with the reservists that came for drills, and then I’d go work at the Pizza Hut until 1 or 2am. I’d start all over again the next day. We would close the hut at 1am, and then turn on the juke box and I’d always lock the doors with some friends who would stay after and we’d just have fun.

I made some good friends while here that I’ve kept in touch with over the years on and off.  Most of them were married so I tagged along with a couple of the single men. One Was Benne Linder. He was from Geneva, NE and we’d take trips to his hometown on weekends ocassionally. He got married shortly after I did I believe. He did send me his wedding picture. Another friend was a guy named Bob Taylor. He was stationed at Fort Omaha just across the fence from the Reserve Training Center. We had some crazy times. He had a tour in Vietnam and then got shore duty and chose Omaha because he was from Witchita, KS. We went to his hometown a time or two also. I lost touch with Bob. I’m sure it was my fault. I still have contact with Benne & Sheri. They live in Lincoln, NE today.  One of the last things I remember in Omaha was being at someone’s apartment the day we landed on the moon. There were about 10 to 12 of us watching and drinking and having a lot of fun. By August 1969, I had moved to Greenville, South Carolina.