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Six years down the drain


To most veterans, people say, “thanks for your service.”

That’s apparently not the case for me.

John Denny wanted to get my service records rounded up and organized so any benefits I’m entitled to would be easier to access when the time comes.

Not a problem, I figured, just have Dale Graham or some of his helpers check on it and send me the paperwork.

Turns out, my ship has been sunk.

During the six years I served in the U.S. Naval Reserve at Tinker AFB there was never a Russian submarine in Lake Texoma or Lake Thunderbird but apparently that was not noted by the U.S. Navy.

The federal government has no record of me getting a direct commission in Public Affairs as an Ensign and getting promoted not once but twice before retiring as a Lieutenant.

I went to Pensacola, Fla., for two weeks of training back in November of 1979.

I once flew to California with my Public Affairs Unit for a weekend training exercise, staying at a Bachelor’s Officers Quarters in San Diego on the government’s dime.

I drilled monthly at the Armed Forces Building just across Douglas Blvd. to the east of Tinker Air Force base for six years, even mistakenly getting paid as a Rear Admiral for a couple of years.

That was pay that I had to drill for two additional years without pay to repay.

That’s right, I was paid by the Navy for six years but now they don’t have any record of my service.

Clayton Lee, who works for Graham at Veteran’s Corner, got the ball rolling for us.

But much to my chagrin the only thing the Navy has about my service record is when I was in ROTC at OU for a year before opting out of that program.

Hence, those six years in the Naval Reserve were all for naught and John Denny’s idea of getting my records together was a failure before launch.

Michael Dillinger always used to forget I was a Veteran until I would stand up on Veterans Day for recognition.

Turns out Michael wasn’t the only one. The United States Navy is not any better.


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