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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Teen Scene and Heide Trask Students Visit the U. S. S. North Carolina

The tour was conducted by veterans Jim Koslosky and George Speer, who serve as Ambassadors for the U. S. S. North Carolina.

The theme of the day was “Taking Responsibility.” Our tour guides did a great job pointing out that many of the nearly 1800 crew members were not much older than students. In fact, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command, 20.7% of the 3.6 million who enlisted in the Navy in WWII were 20 years of age or younger.

(The youngest Navy enlisted person of WWII was Calvin Graham, who enlisted at the ripe old age of 12. Before getting booted out for lying on his enlistment records, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Heart, Navy Unit Commendation with star, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two service stars, WWII Victory Medal, National Defense Medal. His division officer during that period was Sargent Shiver, who became the first Director of the Peace Corps.)  After reenlisting at 17, he fought in the Korean War and was awarded the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and Republic of Korea War Service Medal.)

Much of the success of young enlisted military personnel is the experience they get from boot camp that teaches them what “responsibility” really means. During the tour, it was pointed out that in life, as in the military, once you know something needs to be done, i.e., get to work or school on time, study for a test, clean your room, etc., you shouldn’t have to wait to be told. Being responsible is knowing what your role is in the family unit, in your school, and to yourself and fulfilling that role to the best of your ability before having to be told. Or, more down to home, you may have heard the old saying, “If you want to be treated like an adult, act like an adult.”

Keys to success at any age include being on time, listening, being curious, being alert, being proactive, and sleeping on your own time.


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About the Contributor
Gerald Decker, Founder, President
Gerald Decker is a 4-year Navy veteran with four tours to Vietnam between 1968-1971. Gerald earned a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. He worked for nine years as a U. S. Senate staffer after college and later as a Senior Manager for a small business lobby organization. Gerald also taught Political Science at the high school and college levels. He is a certified trainer in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Gerald founded Athens/Oconee Adult Baseball, Decker Diamonds, the Leland VFW Post 12196, and Teen Scene, Inc. In addition to his work with Teen Scene, Gerald is founder and Past Commander of the Leland VFW Post 12196. The Post was the Mayor's Choice of Citizen of the Year in 2020 and was ranked #5 in the nation for 2022-2023. Since 2020, Gerald has co-written two books. The first was about his good friend and WWII veteran Alex Moskowitz. The second was published by Teen Scene, Inc. in Oct. 2021, entitled "The Great Lockdown of 2020: An Anthology." Gerald is still married to his high school girlfriend (55 years) and has two children and three grandchildren. Following a 15-year hobby of playing catcher in a men’s adult fast-pitch baseball league, his hobbies now include heating pads, grandchildren, and genealogy. Teen Scene and VFW are not hobbies. They are passions.

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