Born June 23, 1943, I quit school at 17 to join the Navy. At that time, I was a bad kid. I could steal a car faster than you could walk around it. Three years in the Navy changed all of that. The Navy took me from boot camp in San Diego to a fleet tanker enroute to Peal Harbor. After that, I served on successive cruises to Japan, Guam, Taiwan and the Philippines. We’d go out for 6 months at a time with 6 months breaks in the States. I’ve home ported at Long Beach, San Pedro and San Diego, California.
After serving two years on the USS Tolovana, I went to a new start-up unit called Cargo Handling Battalion. Shortly thereafter, I completed U. S. Marine Boot Camp at Camp Pendleton, California and received my Marine Greens. I was very proud of going from what I was to what I’d become.
The next year was spent in the Philippines training with the Philippine Army Airborne. What a challenge and an eye opener for anyone who had the opportunity to experience this. I believe every young person, male and female, would benefit from at least two years in the military. Meeting the challenges of the military and finishing school changed this little boy into a man.
Upon discharge, I went to work in the steel mills of Pennsylvania for the next 6 years. The money was great, but the pride was gone.
I left the mills and traveled to Kansas City, Missouri. There, I attended airline school. Upon graduation, I was hired by Frontier airlines. This is when I was naturalized and became a Native Texan. It was a glorious time. We’d fly into Dallas and drive to Houston to go fishing for Red Snapper. For 19 years I lived in Texas and grew to love it. Then, it was over. Frontier filed for bankruptcy. Myself and hundreds of other employees were out of work.
Undaunted, I started my own business in 1989. I sold it in 1995. Since then, I’ve created a new concept in senior care and am aggressively building my franchise organization.
Texas, and all of America, is a magnificent land of opportunity. Every disappointment is a conduit to new opportunities. I’ve proven it time and again. You will too.