Town: The Villages

Branch of service and rank: Navy, E6

Enlisted or drafted? After I got out of high school, I wanted to serve my country. The day after I got out of the service, I went to college on the GI bill.

What did you do in the service? I was a machinist and a hard hat diver — a deep sea diver. I did underwater welding, explosives, body recovery, mine retrieval, C4, dynamite, TNT, plastics and inspected nuclear submarines. I was trained by Carl Brashear, a pioneering black diver featured in "Men of Honor."

Why was it important? I felt that's what I wanted to do in the service.

What is your most important memory from service? What sticks out, I used to change screws (propellers) on submarines. You had to blast them off.

What did you like least about service? Being away from home.

What do you want people to understand about war? Probably the loss. My friend was killed in Vietnam. You always have the memories.