The United States was escalating its involvement in Vietnam and Cuba was receiving aid from the USSR. The United States government was very nervous. Our military was quietly increasing its manpower.
I was seventeen, about to graduate from Glen Cove High School and eager to see the world.
Between World War Two and Vietnam the U.S. Navy had an Early Enlistment Program that allowed young men, seventeen years old, to enlist with parental permission and be separated from active duty on their twenty first birthday.
My father signed the papers, and I joined the Navy under the Early Enlistment Program. Regular Navy sailors called us Kiddie Cruisers.