Veterans Day

BASIC TRAINING SAN DIEGO, 1978

Boot Camp

I was in the US Navy from April 12, 1978 until April 12, 1981, and I went through basic training at Naval Training Center San Diego.

Spring in San Diego is like paradise and I fell in love with this city. Marching out there on the gridiron with our drill instructors yelling obscenities at us, wasn’t all that bad with the warm southern California sun on our faces and the fresh breeze blowing in from the ocean.

Boot Camp was located right downtown – at the north end of San Diego Bay and just across the barbed wire fence from the San Diego International Airport. San Diego Bay is one of the coolest places on earth. Naval, cargo and cruise ships getting under way, sailboats, motor boats and sea doos, jets taking off and landing at the San Diego International Airport, Coast Guard helicopters coming and going. It’s a bevy of sunny activity and my favorite place on the planet!

The end of the Cold War led to military downsizing and the need to close surplus bases. In 1993, the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission slated NTC for closure. Since 1994, RTC Great Lakes in Illinois has been the Navy’s only basic training facility.

See if you can locate me in this photo of Company 053.

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