Subj: Re: Sea Stories
From: Pete Popoff 3rd class Barber
Date: 5/23/00 9:58:25 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Hello Mr. Freeman------This is more of a testimonial of my life and what the navy did for me. i was recruited to join the navy and was told about all the schools and training and proffesions i could choose from-----my intentions were to make a career there-----well out of boot camp i was sent to a repair ship (Kermit Roosevelt ARG 16)-----there were about 20 of us fresh out of boot camp reporting to the master arms shack-----they requested for 20 volunteers to go to deck force-we were told not to ever volunteer for nothing---well no one raised their hand so they started counting down 12 men and wouldn't you know it,I was one of those guys.-----What was deck force?----well after 6 months i asked myself with all my talents what am i doing here---i wanted to be in the metalsmith gang but they didnt need no one there so the only place that had an opening was for a yoman who worked for the officer in charge of the metalsmith gang----requirements needed was to be able to type . I took the typing test and made the grade and became a yoman-i got one foot in the door to become a metalsmith. after 6 months of working in the office i couldnt take it any more and begged our officer in charge to let me go to the metal shop--requested granted.---now while being in the metal gang for awhile we hated to go to the barber aboard ship because in those days it was regulation to get white sidewalls so we bought a set of barber clippers and i got pretty good with them and was giving all the guys in the shop haircuts.--- i was sent to san diego to sheetmetal layout school and learned a lot. when i returned back to the ship, our barber got transferred and someone told the exec that i knew how to cut hair---guess what? i became a barber which was not to bad--didnt have to stand any watches. well after 3 years i was asked to ship over and i told them to send me to another ship that was going over seas and i would consider-----i was sent to the ranier ae5 and finally was going someplace. there was only one barber aboard ship and ibeat him out to become the ships barber-----this turned out to be a hard task because when we were going overseas, we had personel inspections every week (out in the middle of no where) so this meant working 8-9-and sometimes 10 hrs a day but i never complained. after spending 1 year overseas, we were comming home and all i could think about was getting out----ships service was a frozen billet and i couldn't make rate--i took the test for 3rd class many times and passed the grade and now imready to get out and they gave me third class advancement. now hear this--the day i got my shipping out papers, in the middle of the afternoon, they called for s division to report for quarters for muster----i was trying to leave the quarterdeck and the told me to report for quarters and i said under my breath #@#%$... a few choice words and reported for muster-----much to my suprise everyone was at quarters in dress uniform---igot into ranks and they called my name out up front and forward-----i got scarred----i said to myself what did i do--this looks like a court martial. they proceeded to read this special duty of performance above and beyound the call of duty and told me they would give me a copy of this letter to enable me to get a job in civilian life. then they piped me off the ship----i almost cried---i almost shipped over again. guess what--this letter helped me to get into a trade which was very hard to get into unless you new somebody. I've been in the heating and air conditioning trade for almost 40 years and plan to retire this feb.---i look back and say--the Navy made a better man out of me and taught me how to grow up.