Parson FWD Ditching Machine
Spec 4, U.S. Army National Guard
My fiancé and I decided to move up our original plans for a wedding date because I had no idea when I would be reporting for training. We were married in January 1970 and in the interim, I finished my Bachelor's Degree at EMU and my orders arrived in September 1970.
I enlisted during my senior year at EMU in the Michigan Army National Guard. I Served from Feb. 1970 to Feb. 1976. My MOS was 62J20 which is a General Construction Machinery Operator. I operated an Entrenching Machine, Paving Compactor, Road Grader, Air Compressor, and a lot of Dump Truck driving. My Company was the 1436th Engineer Co. based in Muskegon, MI. Most of our weekend drills and summer training were held at Camp Grayling. Our Company prepared sites for buildings, road repairs and construction, runways, etc. Other enlisted men in the 1436th operated Earth Movers, Bulldozers, and other similar machines. After 4 ½ years at the 1436th, I was able to transfer to the Ann Arbor National Guard unit, Co. D, 156 Signal Corps Battalion.
My Basic Training and AIT were at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. My rank for most of my 6 years was Specialist 4. Enlisting in the National Guard allowed me to continue my college studies. At EMU I majored in Business Administration with a degree in accounting. After completing Basic and AIT and EMU, finding a full-time job was quite difficult as many potential employers felt that I would be activated to go to Vietnam and wanted me to apply after that tour of duty. By mid-1971, President Nixon had started moving American forces out of Vietnam taking that pressure off my being able to find work. I was eventually able to go into a Bank Management training program which led to a 25-year career as a Bank Manager and Small Business Loan Officer until one too many bank mergers led to having to find something else to do.