Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Humans of Downey - Louis


Louis is a veteran of the Navy from 1968 - 1972 and served in Vietnam. This interview happened at the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Downey Cemetery.

"Discipline is one of the major character traits I learned during my military career. I went in right after high school so that is the biggest thing I learned in the military. To illustrate this, I'll tell you a little story.

"When you serve on board a Navy ship, you have a captain. The captain is the top guy that runs the ship. The saying in the Navy is that, 'Next to God is the Captain.' I, being a third class petty officer, was called up to see the captain one day. So, I'm scratching my head and asking, 'Why am I being called up to see the captain? I haven't done anything wrong. I've stayed out of trouble.' When I went up to see him, I smartly saluted, the whole nine yards, and he says, 'Mr. Gard, you're in here because your mother wrote me. You haven't been writing her. From now on, you will write your mother at least every two weeks. I prefer every week but at the minimum, every two weeks.' So, that was one of the little disciplines I learned. You don't mess with mom. You can be away but you must write her. That was the only time I got in trouble while in the Navy.

" My civilian job after my Navy days was as a warehouse manager. I managed multiple warehouses. It was my job, among others, to make sure the employees were showing up on time, doing their jobs and following the company rules. My time in the service, learning discipline, taught me how to lead employees to do the right thing. And now, my time is spent in serving veterans through the American Legion."
~ Louis

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