In anticipation of Armed Services Day on May 16, 2015, the staff at iAt have asked those who have served or who are currently serving in the military to share their stories with our readers. This week we will feature five different people who have all served at different times and in different conflicts. Our hope is that is would bring awareness to our readers, but would also point God out in the midst of serving others in this unique way. Today we feature the story of Ted De Hoogh, who served in the U.S. Navy.
Please give a brief description of what you did in the military. Where did you serve? How long? What do you do?
I served in the U.S. Navy on board the Flagship Second Fleet, U.S.S. Newport News, CA-148, which was a heavy cruiser. I also served on the nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Long Beach, CG(N)9. I was assigned to the Supply Department, specifically S-3 Division, which involved Ship’s Store Operation, retail sales, laundry, dry cleaning, tailor shops, barber shops and vending machines. Following active duty I remained in the Navy Reserve, serving on a variety of ship’s platforms, a cargo handling unit, a supply unit and a 500 bed Fleet Hospital.
I served about one year in Norfolk, Virginia, on the heavy cruiser and nearly another year in Long Beach, CA, on the cruiser Long Beach. Navy Reserve training took place in New Orleans, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, CA, as well as several ships based in California. I also trained with Naval Supply Depot, Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. Local training was at Naval Reserve Center in Sioux Falls, SD.
I served from October, 1963 through retirement in January of 1994. Two years active duty, the remainder in the Reserves. Discounting some broken service, I served 28 years.
My primary duties while on board ships had to do with Ship’s Store Operations, specifically retail sales and recordkeeping. While assigned to Supply Centers, I would be involved with basic warehouse work and supervision. While assigned to Fleet Hospital 23, I served as the Personnel Services Supply Chief.
What has given you the greatest joy in serving? What has been the hardest part?
As a child growing up through World War Two and the Korean Conflict, I would listen to relatives reflect on their war experiences, which had a profound effect on me. Patriotism was all around my world then and continues to this day. Being able to serve this great country in some capacity has given me pleasure and a sense of pride.
The hardest part to me was leaving home and family to serve. Also very hard was finding out about young men from my hometown who had lost their lives in combat in Vietnam.
What is one thing you’d like non-military people to know about serving in the military?
I believe that experiencing the discipline of military training is of great value. You learn self-reliance, teamwork, survival, camaraderie, etc. It helps you put in perspective what things are really important in life, and what things you can do without.
How have you experienced God’s presence while serving?
Looking back over my Navy career, I was very blessed to have worked with several officers and chiefs who had a positive influence on me, and encourage me in my career. Equally important, however, was support from my wife and our sons to continue and complete a successful career. I am grateful to God for keeping me safe during travel to and from many duty stations in this country and overseas.
Return to iAt tomorrow to read the story of Holly Sammons, who served in Iraq. Throughout this week we will share other stories of men and women who have served in the military.