After the Army
After arriving home I went back to work; driving a delivery truck route for a Diaper Service. It was a lot better than burning s**t in Vietnam. I started playing pool again but quickly found that I had lost my stroke. Bummer! I hooked up with some buddies and started playing softball for a local team. At first it was in a bar league Sunday mornings. We would play for a keg. Then go to the home teams bar until the keg was empty. Well, there goes Sunday.
I moved up to better teams and was soon playing in tournaments around Southern California. One team I played with won the City of Pasadena Championship two years in a row. Then I started playing for a semi-professional baseball team. I was called by my buddy Dave to coach a Pony League baseball team in Sierra Madre. The best part about it was I could “show” the boys how to play – not just teach them.
After one game I went over to Dave’s house to attend his daughter’s birthday party. He had married his girlfriend several years before. Who should I see at the birthday party but Leslie whom I hadn’t seen since that disastrous date at “Under the Ice House.” I saw her and said…”Leslie, how about a big lip lock?” Well, that worked and pretty soon I was dating her on a regular basis.
Fast forward to 1972 and Leslie and I were married. Almost one year later after a double-header baseball game, I was at home firing up the barbeque when Leslie came up to me and stated…”Fred, when are you ever going to amount to something in your life?” Oops, I guess the honeymoon was over. I asked her what she meant and she told me that I always talked about going back to school and when was I going to do that. I responded, tomorrow. That’s really what happened. Needless to say a new quarter was just starting and I enrolled in college, again.
I went to school four nights a week and took 16 units a quarter while I worked fulltime. Most of my previous credits were not accepted so I started almost at square one. I applied and received GI Bill compensation for college. It paid for all my tuition. This time school was different. I actually studied this time around and graduated 3rd in my class with a 3.92 GPA (out of a 4.0). I earned two degrees; one in accounting and one in management.
After graduation I gave up driving a truck and started working for a CPA firm in Glendale. After working for the CPA firm for almost three years and earning qualifying experience for a CPA certificate I went to work in banking. I stayed in banking for 13 years. Some of the best times were installing computer banking systems in our international branches. I was able to assist in Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, London, New York and Toronto.
After banking I became a VP and Controller of a Real Estate Investment and Property Management company. I subsequently worked in the Insurance and Health Care industries. Eventually I became a consultant for an International Consulting firm and worked in some of the Top 50 and Top 500 companies.
That’s about it. Now I spend my time doing woodworking projects, designing Microsoft Databases and even a website.
3 thoughts on “Civilian Life”
I finally got around to reading your remarkable life story. You are a wonderful story teller with one hell of a story to tell. I am still working at DIRECTV but now live in Oak Park, by Thousand Oaks. Please give me a buzz if you are ever in the South Bay or out Oak Park way, so we can grab some lunch or dinner and catch up.
I am sure that you don’t remember or even know, but I was an NG and did basic training at Fort Polk, almost exactly 3 years after your tiger training. I think I landed there April 6, 1970. Just like you, I screwed around in college and became 1A. By 1969, the word was out about Viet Nam, so I joined the National Guard to avoid it. Your story on Fort Polk brought back lots of memories.
Thanks for sharing your webpage with me.
Thanks for the kind words, Bill. If I am in your neighborhood I will call you for lunch.
I like your story. Thank you