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Baseball History as American History: Lost Stories of Influential Ballplayers

Kiersten McMahon, Austin Hawkins, Gabe Foltz, Hannah Young, Tyler Storm, Miranda Nelson, Authors

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The Navy

Joe began his time in the Navy in Great Lakes, Illinois. He spent a short stint there before they shipped him off to California.

When one arrives in the Navy, they give you a battery of exams listing your talents - and Joe cited other than sleeping in class and playing baseball and the band he didn't have any. He was presented with the option of being part of the Navy band. When Joe asked what that entailed the recruiter lowered his voice and said, "Basically you'll sit around in Little Creek, Virginia for 4 years and smoke dope while playing in the band." That didn't appeal to him. But he had just gotten married to a non-citizen, so anything nuclear was out of the question because she was a security risk. So one of the last options was to be a member of the Disaster Recovery SEABEAS Team, so he was in.

He had the chance to see parts of the world. Usually deployments lasted 8-12 months, but he was part of a team that got to travel to help some of the following locations

- Bermuda and Puerto Rico
- 1972 - earthquake relief in Nicaragua for a month and a half. He spoke Spanish and worked construction so he helped them.
- Azores Islands off of Portugal
- Diego Garcia - Naval Airbase in Indian Ocean
- Vietnam - only for a few days
- Guam
- Last year spent in the United States

During the Vietnam War, 97% of the drafted members were honorably discharged after serving their country. Joe was also honorably discharged for his service in the Vietnam War. 
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