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After boot camp and a short visit home, I reported to the mess chief at the Naval Training Center.  Shortly thereafter and very timely for me, a request was made for any seaman with any college experience to apply for the position of office orderly at the Base Commander's Office.  An Admiral was taking the Captain's billet and rated an office orderly.  At first I was hesitant, but the galley chief said I'd be nuts if I didn't take the position so I went over and passed muster with Captain Lockwood and fortunately had some boot camp awards to show and I was appointed waiting the Admiral's arrival.  Rear Admiral Allen Bergner was a great man.  A sort of crusty WWII type admiral who was very confident and past the politics of the O-6 level.  As my father had recently passed away I quickly adopted the Admiral as a father figure (to the extent that rank and navy tradition would allow such a relationship).  We seemed to hit it off just fine.  I enjoyed that first year in the Navy very much. I worked part time in the bowling alley (having worked in a few bowling alleys in Junior High School, it was a piece of cake).  I also played football for NTC's semi-pro, 8-man tackle team.  We played local bases such as MCRD, 32nd Street, North Island, Camp Pendleton, etc.  We also got to go to Las Vegas for a bowl game against Nellis Air Force Base.  I had the distinction of knocking out their fastest player on a kickoff return and even though I didn't recover the resulting fumble I was pleased.  Of course, I hoped I hadn't hurt the guy.  We won the game 28-12.  It was a fun weekend in Las Vegas after the game. 

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