I saw the “writing on the wall” early on as I began my college years at Mizzou. I thought it was going to be a certainty that I was called to serve, as my father was before me, so I decided to make my time in the service as good as possible. To me, that meant being an officer, so I enrolled in the Navy’s ROTC program.
I applied for an ROTC scholarship and actually got it, and was accepted into the Navy’s ROTC program with the goal to be commissioned as an ensign upon graduation. So, thereafter, in my college years I did not have to be worried about my draft number or any of that; those years were free of that worry because upon my graduation I knew I was going into the Navy as an Ensign. And during my time at Mizzou, I did also receive a small subsidy, and help with purchase of books, which was fun, with interesting events, moments and memories. I was also a part of the “Summer Cruises” which the Navy provided to train future officers.
Because I had to take a number of courses that were required for NROTC, that meant that to get all the credits I needed for my BSBA degree I did have to go an extra semester. I did not graduate as had originally been planned in June 1968. Instead I had to come back to do the fall semester of 1968-69, but that was a good thing. It just so happened that during that fall semester I met a young woman during who eventually became my wife. Had I graduated “on time” I would not have met her and not had the wonderful decades of marital life I have enjoyed. I graduated in January, 1969, and my Navy career (as an Aviator) began.