William McCrystal (a good family friend) and I worked together when I was a senior in high school. He used to tell stories of his time in the service. Vietnam was still going on, and I had just received my draft number. Rather than getting drafted I picked my service and joined the USCG at the end of the summer after graduation.
The Christy Collection
Military Stories and Articles
Service Reflections of ETC James Fort, Jr., U.S. Coast Guard (1972-1992)
My dad was the major influence on my joining the Coast Guard. He was part of a forward Army recon unit that was captured at the Battle of the Bulge after expanding all their ammunition. His unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, and he earned a Bronze Star for his actions there. My dad also fought in the Korean war earning awards for his actions there.
The Army was going to send him off to Vietnam when that conflict started, and he opted to retire with twenty-three years of service at that time. My dad thought that Vietnam was a war run by politicians instead of Generals and convinced me that the Coast Guard was the best service to go into. Of course, neither of us knew at the time that there were more Coasties killed (percentage-wise) in WWII and the Vietnam war than any other service.