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About Me

The Early Years

I was born in a small town hospital in east central Indiana. As a young child my Mother and Father seemed to move around and I lived all over the local County. I spent quite a few years of my young life in Mt. Summit, Indiana but ended up moving out of town onto a farm and spent most of my teen years farming. As a young boy in the little town of Mt. Summit, I was a good little boy but I was very daring. This was a time that Evil Knievel was jumping long range on his motorcycle and I as well as the neighborhood kids thought we could do the same on our bikes. Now having alot of mechanical talent, I would always fix my bikes when I tore them up, and I tore up quite a few! I was never hurt very badly jumping my bike and it is a wonder I ever made it. But I did and we had so much fun in that little town. Things I remember doing was playing "Kick the Can" when it turned dark out and we would play as long as we could before all the Moms called us home! We played baseball and softball, basketball, football and so on... We had so much fun in those days (Early 70's). Well as time went on we moved out to the farm where I spent the rest of my growing up years. I learned so much from my parents in those years. My Dad was one of those kind of guys that would and can still work you under the table. He would work a full time job and then come home and work the farm. He taught me to drive a tractor at five and as a teen I would always be on the tractor doing something. Mowing and conditioning hay comes to mind as I spent hours on end doing such a thing! Our old Farmhouse was heated by a gas furnace, however, we also had a wood stove and a fireplace with a fireplace insert in it. We would cut wood all winter, every winter and that would prove to help me stay in shape for school sports. Also as a teen, my friends and I would always help the local farmers in the area bale their hay and put it up in their barns for them...ah, what a life!

The Teen Years

As I entered Jr. High School and my Teen Years I really had a great time! I had such good friends and I was real popular in school! I had not mentioned previously about my go-karts and motorcycle. But I also had those things as well. We also had a Snowmobile also and I just had a hayday in any season. I would work hard and play hard in those days. I remember feeding the cattle, sheep and chickens very early in the mornings before I went to school, then after school it would be riding one of the many toys that I had. I was also an avid hunter and trapper. I was always traipsing around our farm which had a huge woods and also had the river on which my school was named after, running at one edge of our property. We lived in Blue River Valley and words can't explain how beautiful it really was. I remember sitting atop the hills on the short grass that the cows had ate down and just looking over the valley, it was so peaceful. I was into sports pretty heavy in my Jr. and Sr. High School days. In 7th grade I was in Cross Country and placed in the top 5 in the county meet that first year of running. The second year, my eighth grade year, I won the county meet. In high school I ended up being an all conference runner placing 7th place out of about 300 (at least I think there was that many). I was also a wrestler and made it to regionals one year but didn't make it any further than that. I also played baseball from peewee league up to Pony League (9th grade). I ran track instead of playing High School Baseball. I was also in the High School Band and in the Marching Band. We would spend countless hours practicing through the summer in band. I was a drummer and played what we called the Tim-Toms consisting of three drums that was strapped to me...very heavy to carry for hours. Many times I thought I would never make it! Band camp was always a fun but very tiring time as well. All in all, my teen years was pretty action packed but I also learned a whole lot about life and how to work for what I wanted. Living on a farm is a whole bunch of work!!! Finally, it was time to graduate High School, and I was 18 years old.. Some of my classmates were still 17. I was a bit old for my class. Anyway, I made it through school!

The Young Adult Years

I will be adding to this section as soon as possible. I have lots to add if I can think of it all. Check back soon for the updates.

US NAVY Tour of Duty

Joining The Navy

The beginning of life in the workforce!

It was late in the year 1983 when decisions were being made. In that time, jobs were hard to come by. The economy was slow and the kids just out of school at that time had a hard time getting jobs. Adults were landing all the jobs including flipping burgers and all! It was real hard to get a job to make it. It was the later part of 1983 and I had just turned 20 years old in Sept. I had been out of High School since May of 1982 and had a couple of "going nowhere" jobs, and things did not look as if they were going to improve! Now, this was a time where factory workers were getting 20 some dollars an hour and the economy reflected that as well. With a kid making no money, this was hard to cope with. So I started to think a bit...before I go into that though, a little explanation is in order.

As a boy growing up I loved to play with Hot Wheels and the like. I HATED playing with Army men or any of the little green plastic Military type toys. My cousins played with them all the time and I just hated them..the toys that is! I associated those things with the images I saw of the Veitnam War on TV. I hated anything Military! As I got older, I was scared to death that they were going to start up the draft again, so you could imagine how I felt when I had to go to my local post office and sign up for the draft. It was horrible! Anyway, after a couple years out of school, I began to think of things a bit different, especially given the times we were in. My Dad had always told me that he had thought of going in but his Dad, Grandpa Keesling always told him, if you go in, go into the Navy. So with this stuck in my mind, I began to think that this may be my only choice to get out of the house and make it on my own. Being raised on the farm, I did not get out much and see big city lights and life as other city folk had. I began to collect some litature about the Navy and the more I read about it, the more I got excited about joining. I figured I would get to see so much in the Navy and get paid while doing it. So I finally made up my mind and went down to the recruiters office in New Castle, and joined up. I was to leave in March of 1984. It was still the later part of 1983.

The time had come and it was time to leave. I will never forget that day as long as I live!! Mom and Dad drove me down to the recruiter office in New Castle at like 4:30 am to meet my Recruiting Officer and he was going to drive me to Indianapolis where I would meet up with a whole bunch of other new recruits to be sworn in to the US Military. As we set and waited on the recruiter to get there, anticipation grew of course. He finally showed up and I got out of the car after saying our goodbye's. It was a tearful time for us. The look on my Mom's face will ever stay with me. It was a look as if she would never see me again! It went right through me...I wondered if I had made the right choice. No more time for goodbye's and we were off to Indianapolis. It was a very exhausting trip to Indy for I had not slept very good the night before because of the anxiety.

Once at the gathering place where we were to be sworn in, it looked like a mad house with all kinds of young men there and some young gals as well! We all took a test and then were sworn in. This process seemed to take forever. After all that we were placed on Busses and shipped off to our destination...BOOT CAMP!

After a lengthy ride to the Chicago area, my final destination was BOOT CAMP at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. I remember getting off the bus and it was very late at night by this time. Still half asleep and most of us still looking like an 80's hippy, we were escorted out in the cold where we had to walk while being immediately screemed at to a building where we would be processed and checked in to the Naval Training Center. To me, I felt like my life had just ended! It was the most scary thing I had ever experienced. This WAS BOOT CAMP and the Military personel there made sure that we knew that.

Boot Camp 1984 - Great Lakes Naval Training Center


I will soon have my story here! I have to think back to all the crazy times I had while in Boot Camp! Come back soon to see if I have it all updated!

Life on the Uss Dale CG-19


I will have some info and a few pretty cool stories coming soon. You can also head on over to the Crews Website at and check out the ship.

The Adult Years

More to come... I promise ;-)

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