A Voice Bellowed

August 1969

I was preparing to start college while working in a steel mill. At 18 years old this seemed a hard way to get ahead. With out thinking too far ahead I went to the Armed forces recruiter station to join the Navy. I figured how hard can the Navy be (my apologies to all the Docs I certainly know better know how great you guys are). The Navy recruiter was out too lunch and a voice bellowed from the back of the room he will be back shortly have a seat. I am ashamed I don’t remember his name but he was the most squared away looking man I had met in my young life, A Staff Sergeant in the United States Marines. Needless to say while he ate his lunch at his desk we decided the Marines might be just the challenge I was looking for.

In keeping with John Kerry’s opinion of the military I was 4 F I had a speech Impediment and was hard of hearing and very average student in school. So I wasn’t smart enough to use this as an excuse. It took some finagling and kind of looking the other way on the hearing test and I was off in a few weeks to stand on those yellow footprints in Parris Island.

Three years later after serving in Marine Barracks Whidbey Island, Camp Pendleton, USS Okinawa and Vietnam. I felt I had done enough but never forgot what a privilege it was for the United States Marines to let me join their very exclusive club. I did go back and get a 4 year degree and have helped in running several business. Oh by the way as my father Warren White 6th Marine Division WWII always says. Hey Navy thanks for the ride.

Ken White
USMC 1969 - 1972
CPL (twice)

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  • RD Cook, Sgt 70-77

    Ken, I too was on the USS Okinawa LPH 3 in 1972. I joined in February 1970 and went active in June of 70, MCRD San Diego Ist Battalion, Plt 1075 and 1083 (had to go to the physical conditioning platoon to pass the PFT). I was Ships company Marine attached to the portable SOAP Lab on board. Having Flight Status on the CH 46 I got to fly with the Ships Helo. Semper Fi

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