The time is 1956, and I am a Junior at University of North Texas. I have just received the devastating news that the U.S. Air Force will not give me a flying contract. I have scar on my left eye lens, and it has disqualified me. Along about this same time, there was a U.S. Marine officer on campus with called the Platoon Leaders School.
Now let me explain. I had no particular love for the Marines, nor dislike either. What the Marine officer said that had potential attraction to me was between summer camps at Quantico, Virginia, where I would undergo platoon leadership training, I would then be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, I would then be allowed to attend law school at the Marine Corps expense.
Bear in mind this is before anyone even knew where Viet Nam was located, and the U.S. had not stuck their nose into what the French were finding to the “too hot to handle” and were getting their butts kicked!
I could choose this avenue or stay in the U.S. Air Force program and be commissioned as a second lieutenant and serve my time without being given a flying contract. Much later, after going on active duty, I asked to be re-examined for flight training, as I believed that I had 20-20 vision. This was later verified by an Air Force ophthalmologist. He told me, however, that the Air Force did not need pilots, they did not even need officers! Back on base, my company commander offered me a 6 month’s active duty, and the rest of my 7 ½ years obligation in the active reserves and I took it.
Let’s now move the chess pieces forward and see what might have been. If I had chosen the Marine PLC program, and I had successfully completed the training, I probably would have been in the second year of law school before Viet Nam heated up. What would have been my chance and likelihood of completing my law degree? Not likely, in my opinion. The Marines would have decided they needed platoon leaders worse than JAG officers and I would have had a chance to do a walking vacation in the jungles and rice paddies of Viet Nam.
So, I did not go to law school. After completing my 6 months in the U.S. Air Force, I returned
local economy where there were few jobs for new college graduates. None of my job inquiries or resumes drew any response. So, perhaps the U.S. Marines paying for me to go to law school wasn’t such a bad idea.
It was during this time, I joined the Jaycees and got to meet a number of other young lawyers who were struggling to survive. I was not impressed that if I had gone to law school, my chances at employment would have improved. However, looking back, I feel certain that I would have quickly gotten involved in the oil and gas leasing business since it is a dominant factor in this state.
I do have to admit that one of my high school classmates had gone to law school and since then has become the most successful attorneys and the wealthiest one I know. If I had made different choices I might have wound up in the Hanoi Hilton, or sent home in a body bag, who knows. I do not regret the choices I made but do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had made different choices. You never know! Just Sayin….RJS
Well RJ at least you didn’t have to bear the brunt of all those lawyer jokes……..and being a Texaco attorney isn’t always a nice thing like the one who talked my grandfather into a 20 year lease with no cost of living or rent increases in 1956. Twenty years later in 1976 Gramps couldn’t wait for the Texaco man to show up with a new lease. Gramp never cussed but he had some choice words for that guy! And Mobil got the new lease.
Maiwehu: you are correct eco, Amigo! My favorite joke actually happened in the Rio Grande Valley.
The Glick twins had a ranch and Exxon was the co that had drilled and was producing oil and gas on this land. The twins wanted to have the right to some or their gas to run irrigation pump engines bit Exxon refused!
It went to trial and Exxon lawyers were the best in the state and ran circles around the Glicks attorney. Finally the judge got fed up and told both sides of attorneys to sit down and shut up! He then asked the twins what they wanted. It was a simple remedy. A little of the gas they needed to run an irrigation pump! He gave it to them! Just Sayin….RjS
Robert J Samples wrote:
Maiwehu: you are correct eco, Amigo! My favorite... (
Somehow I missed this RJ.
Great story. Sometimes you win the battle and lose the war and vice versa.
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