Our December Veteran of the Month is: Torpedoman Chief SSDV John Johnson of Buffalo. We appreciate your service to our country, John!

John was nominated by his wife, Deb. Here is John's story in his own words:

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From the time I was old enough to remember, my father, a WWII Veteran, would remind me or anyone willing to listen that someday I would be a submarine man.  After a period of time, I guess I started to believe it because my focus became that objective.  My grades were good enough to enlist and also good enough with high mechanical and math scores to meet the criteria for volunteering for submarine duty.

There are a very small percentage of Navy personnel who volunteer, and even a smaller percentage are chosen.  After being chosen, you are off to a host of schools dealing with your specialty and finally submarine school in Groton, Connecticut.  The washout rate is quite high.  Even if everything goes well and quitting is not in your vernacular, you finally get assigned to a boat; that is when the work begins.  You are simply a nonqualified puke, really good to no one until you earn your Dolphins, which takes anywhere from a year to 18 months.  You never forget your qualification date and finally your acceptance into the crew.

I had the opportunity to serve 28 years for our country and I will always feel that I had a little bit to do with my own freedom, that of my family, and this great nation.  I thank all veterans for their individual roles and their part in the freedoms we enjoy.

Any veteran would tell you his military career would be the first link in defining who he or she is, as they relate to family, friends, job, country, or life’s goals.  The military is just a great place to start.  I always felt I was taught love and respect at home, but discipline I owe to the military.

Below is a picture of my qualification boat.  This boat is always special to a submariner.  This is generally his first boat, the boat where he earned his Dolphins.

 

Contributed photo

If you have a special veteran in your life, make sure to nominate them to be Veteran of the Month!

 


 

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