Upon graduation from college, jobs were impossible to find. I was competing with PhDs for entry level jobs.

I entered the United States Air Force. Unfortunately, I was assigned to Robins AFB near Macon GA. Racism there was really bad. So I got out under a new change in the regulations.

Exactly 13 months later I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard. 1SG Olan Johnson was the first sergeant. He appeared to be a stern man, but he is a wonderful first sergeant and it was an honor to be under him. In the Texas Army National Guard I started off as a clerk typist, became a chaplain assistant with a promotion, went to Officer Candidate School but did not make it through, was an infantry with a unit in Sherman TX, and then a photographer in Dallas.

It was in Houston that I became a chaplain's assistant. I was with the transportation batallion and the unit was just one block from where I was living. Promotions were almost impossible because we were well over strenth. In Houston anybody who wanted to go Army National Guard had a choice of airborne infantry or transportation.

From here I went to Sherman to take the position of Administrative Supply Technician (AST). I enjoyed the work, but I did not have the best administrative supervision.

When I left Texas and returned to Washignton DC, I joined the DC Army Naitonal Guard, 715th Public Affairs Detachment. I enjoyed what I was doing and I was with a fantastic unit. Sgt. Rosie Anderson and I were a team. We worked together very well. Capt. Don Mauney was a life saver many times. The late Sgt. Donald Griggs was also very helpful.

Rosie and I spent annual training one year at Ft. Belvoir with the Public Affairs unit there. It was a real education for me. I developed a very healthy respect for our fire departments. Until then I had no idea how physically fit they had to be.

We spent another annual training at Indiantown Gap PA. Every day our unit put out a newsletter, complete with photographs. I wish that we had then the equipment that we have today. One day I was walking down the street with my cameras around me and an officer stopped me and asked, "Are you Sgt. Bishop?" He was very much impressed with our work.

From there I went over to the DC Air National Guard as an administrative specialist and then to the Air Force Reserves as a chapel manager. In the DC Air National Guard I was also an admin instructor. I also help Bob Levy of the Washington Post to raise money for Children Hospital by taking part of a type-a-thon and coming in first place two years in a row.

I left the Air Force Reserves when the first sergeant told me that they are going to be really strict with me about 35-10, the uniform regulation. Most civilians would say that I look sharp, but military type would disagree. I was traveling 260 miles one way for weekend duty. But I was paid well for it at annual training when I also received quarters allowance and travel pay.

I also served in the Civil Air Patrol, first as an administrative/personnel officer and then as a chaplain. I really enjoyed working with these young people.

Serving my country in the military has been very rewarding and I just wish that I could had put in 20 or more years. It was a big sacrifice. I had major conflicts every month for at least a year near the end. But I still enjoyed it.

Page updated Friday 30 October 2009.

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