WHAT KIND OF VOLUNTEERING ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?
"I'm a peer advocate for PEER-B-wing (Pennsylvania Empower Expert Resident). If they can't handle something, we tell them where to go (for help)."
SO YOU BASICALLY HELP GUIDE THEM IF THEY ENCOUNTER ANY ISSUES?
"Yes. We welcome them to the home. We give them all a welcome kit. Make them feel at home."
"For about four years."
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME INVOLVED HERE?
"Just so I have something to do. Being involved in different things. I do the honor guard here and I was president of the "B unit", but when I got sick, I had to go upstairs to the "D unit", which is intermediate care. So, I was president over here (B unit) for about six years. I loved it. But people said that that was probably why I got sick; because I took so much on my own. I said they might be right, but I still miss it because it made me feel like I was responsible and could still do stuff. I have a computer and if people needed to do anything, I could go on the computer if I didn't have an answer. My background is social security administration. So I know about social security. I've gotten a couple of people here on social security since I got here that weren't on it before. I processed the whole case for them. If they're not getting what they need, I'll go to anybody to get what they need- representatives, senators, lieutenant governor.
WHAT BRANCH OF THE MILITARY DID YOU SERVE IN?
"Army. 3 active ('60-'63) and 3 inactive, right before Vietnam. Unfortunately, well fortunately, I wasn't overseas."
WERE YOU IN DURING WARTIME?
"I was in during the Cuban missile crisis, the Berlin Wall, and the beginning of Vietnam. I was in administration at the missile site. We protected the East coast. [We were] in Connecticut. We had four missile sites and then when we left, I was the last group there, we turned them all over to the National Guard. We used to have to go on alerts and everything when these things came up. Like the Cuban missile crisis, we thought we were gonna go to war. Kennedy said "you get those missiles out of Cuba or we're coming and taking them out." He didn't mess around. I liked him. I wish he wouldn't have got shot."
DID YOU HAVE ANY FRIENDS THAT DID GO OVERSEAS?
"I met some people that came back from Korea. Vietnam didn't really start until about 65-67 something like that. Just before I got out they sent advisories over in like '63/64. I enjoyed the service. I liked it."
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO JOIN?
"I just wanted to go in and hope to make a better person out of myself. Become a man, so to speak. I went in when I was a kid. I was only like 17, right out of high school."
ARE YOU GLAD YOU WENT IN?
"Oh yeah. I liked it a lot when I went in."
HOW DID YOUR MOTHER FEEL WHEN YOU SENT INTO THE SERVICE?
"She missed me because I was the baby of the family. But I wasn't that far away. The farthest I went was South Carolina for training. I went to Missouri for training and to Benjamin Harrison for administrative training. I loved it there. There were all girls. It was really nice. I met Jane Mansfield there."
DID YOU HAVE A FAMILY OF YOUR OWN?
"No. I've never been married. Been a bachelor all my life. I was a chaser, not a catcher."
DO YOU DO ANYTING SOECIAL TO COMMEMORATE VETERANS DAY?
"We're gonna be with the honor guard from the Stetson school down the road. They have an ROTC. They come up here and do the honor guard here with us. They do a show with the rifles and everything. They're a good group."
IF PEOPLE WANT TO HELP, WHAT SHOULD THEY DO?
"Go to the computer and look it up. It'll tell you different things that are needed and wanted."
DO YOU THINK SOME VETERANS ARE AFFECTED MORE THAN OTHERS?
"Vietnam vets are. They were pushed aside. Nobody wanted to care for them. They actually gave up. What they tried to do when they got back, was get PTSD training. Even that didn't work sometimes. They get so distressed, they go back on drugs, alcohol. They get disgusted, sometimes try to commit suicide. We have people here like that. DPW gives a class, working with the veterans affairs. They never did that before, so that's a good thing. They need help and people to help them out. I want to start a committee here."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE THAT IS CONSIDERING THE MILITARY?
BEFORE GOING IN?
"No, do it while you're in. It's free. You can't beat it. Get a college education. When I was in, they used to have a deal with Duke or North Carolina, those colleges. So you'd get a college education from Duke, North Carolina, one of those big colleges. I was gonna go to Connecticut, but unfortunately I made a lot of stupid mistakes when I served. I was gonna go but I was playing ball and I didn't like school. When I was in the service, I trained everybody in the camp or at the headquarters. All the new changes, everything. I taught school. I liked to teach but not as a student. Then they made a Major change in motor vehicles. They changed the whole system around and my boss thought so much about me that he wanted me to train the whole facility. So I trained the whole facility. After that, he knew I played ball and everything, so he took me down to West Point and tried to get me in there. Second mistake I made. He introduced me to the commanding officer and said "Why don't you go to West Point? You can do it. You can play ball for them." I turned it down, I didn't go. Like a stupid idiot. But I try not to look back. It gives you something to talk about."