Civilian Life

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

  1. Hey Fred,
    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.



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