In 1997 Terry, graduated from high school and, exactly like every other high-school student, decided that he needed to go to college however after the first day realized that it wasn’t for him. For the next three years, he worked several different jobs, enjoyed hunting, fishing, and hanging out with friends. On a cool spring day early in 2000, he and James got the bright idea that they would join the military; the Navy to be exact! After telling their parents, James’ dad talked them into joining the Coast Guard instead. When it was time to leave for basic training they boarded a bus bound for Cape May, New Jersey having no idea where they were going or what they were getting themselves into.
When he stepped off of the bus the Terry was not quite ready for what or how he was greeted. Within a split second drill sergeants were in his face barking orders, berating, and roaring at him about how his bags had been packed. Some of the recruits even had their bags dumped out in front of them and told to repack them. Terry and James looked at each other and thought they had just made the biggest mistake of their lives.
Their days were filled with nothing but physical training and being hollered at. They were made to run for miles in the heat, until sick, with very little time to rest. At chow time, they were hardly given 15 minutes to eat before it was off to do jumping jacks, relays or whatever other kinds of pt they chose. Even in the mess hall there was no relaxation. If their cups were not turned over when they were finished, they were made to walk around the room with a cup in the air shouting “Sir, I will turn my cup over Sir” over and over as a lesson to everyone. They only ever did that once!
After successfully making it through boot camp Terry had a few days to relax at home with his parents before he was off to “A” school to learn to become an Electronics Technician. School was in a place that he never, in his wildest dreams, would have imagined he...