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I am one and a very few of my shipmates are still here. We did not join the Army, Navy, Marines or the Coast Guard to get a free education--we joined to ensure our parents would not be forced to bow to the forces who were trying to kill all of us.
In 1942, when I joined the Navy, the pay was $37.00 a month. That was ok because our pay in the places we were working was .27 an hour! At least we had a bunk and food plus clothing. The only thing we were asked to do was to learn everything that would help us in the coming days; radio codes, flag signaling, semaphore alphabet, machine guns and everything that went with the maintenance of these.
We also learned how to survive without asking for help. We did not know what getting things for free really meant because we did not have any free things--we either made it, grew it, earned it or did without it!
Where have we gone wrong?