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|USAF Service: June 1973 to April 1977. I enlisted in the United States Air Force a month after I graduated High School in May 1973, one of the first "All Volunteer" enlistments as the Viet-Nam War was coming to an end. I finished basic training at Lackland AFB, TX., then went to Security Police Training School. I was now a Security Specialist, AFSC 81130. My first base was George AFB, CA., a C-Priority base for the training of forgien pilots, mostly F-4C's but we had one active Wild Weasel Squardon, using the F-105 Thuds. After less than a year, I was given orders to, RAF Upper-Heyford, outside of Oxford, England. Our Planes, were F-111-E's, we guarded a VA Area and a Nuclear Storage Area, this was a base with a very serious mission! I progressed to the rank of Buck Sargent, (E-4). My daughter was born with a "heart & lung failure", I went back home on Emergency Leave. I put in for a "Umanitarian Reassignment", was assigned to Lowry AFB in Denver. Lowry AFB was a "Training Command" (ATC) most all of the "active" post were 115% manned and they had "no need" for a Security Specialist. I pleaded to be "laterly transfered" to a Law Enforcement Specialist, (81250) but instead I was "forced-trained" into a "Training Specialst" (AFSC 75132), a pure "paper pusher" job, which I absolutely hated! So much so I left the active duty USAF early to go into the Air National Guard under a program called "Palace Chase", to finish out my "6 year" service commitment and go back to being a, "Security Specialist" at Buckley Air National Guard Base, Denver, CO.
Naval Service: Aug. 1977 to May 1979. After being out in the civilan world for a few months, I decided I wanted back in the Air Force. I went to Air Force recuriters and was informed, that even with having a excellent service record and had been in a "critical career field", I still could not re-enlist. I was walking out of the AF recuriters and a Navy recuriter asked me if I'd "give the Navy a chance". I signed up for a "2 year enlistment", went thru OSVET (Other Service Veteran) School in San Diego, CA. The plan was, to get me into a "new program", called "Master At Arms", basicly a Navy Policeman but the program was discontinued before I could get into A-School! I was assigned to Anti-Submarine Warfare Squardon, VS-21 at NAS North Island as a "Airman", E-3, with no Rate (Naval Skill). I worked my way into Aviation Supply and become a Aviation Storkeeper. I got my E-4 back, I was now a Petty Officer, AK3. VS-21 was then assigned to the USS KittyHawk (CV-63). After serving on board the ship for a 2-week Sea Qualifacation Run, we were getting ready to set to sea for a "West-Pac Tour". I needed to "re-enlist" or take a "early out". I didn't re-enlist because of two reasons: 1. My "first wife", hated being a "Navy Wife" so badly she threatend divorce! 2. In my soul I still felt I should be, "Air Force"! For those reasons I left the chance of a Naval Career & Military Retirement and returned to civilian life.
|My wife JoLynn is a "Army Brat"! Jo tried to join the Army in the late 1980's, to follow in her father's bootsteps but due to a medical condition beyone her control, couldn't pass the physcial! Jo wrote the poem below in (November, 2006) to the memory of her father: SFC. James Edwin Perse Sr., 20+ year Army and "3 tour Viet-Nam Vet". We thank him for his service, his mission is complete, GOD Speed, Rest In Peace, Dad.|
AMERICAN ARMY BRAT
I remember when I was very young, my father standing so "straight and strong" in his uniform. How he always saluted our flag with "pride and respect", I was too young to understand, I was just an American Army Brat
As I grew to learn of GOD, the Pledge and our Nations Song, I also learned to except that my father was to be gone, this I did not like, I was just an American Army Brat
When my father and his friends were sent away to war, I understood the price some would pay, they might not all come home, I prayed with all my heart and soul each day for their safe return, It's so hard being just an American Army Brat
Now I'm to old to "SERVE" myself but I can say without any doubt, I'm proud of all those who served our countries needs, I'm so proud to this day to be just an American Army Brat
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