Jim Porter
State Chaplain - Navy

Enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserves in February, 1963, just after I turned 17 years of age. As soon as school was out in 1963, I was sent to San Diego to the Naval Recruit Boot Camp. I spent 2 long weeks there, and at the time, it seemed as though’ it was never going to get over. Then about 2 weeks later, I reported aboard the U.S.S. Watts, a Destroyer. We had a terrific Skipper, and he must have had quite a sense of humor. I didn’t understand why everyone was referring to the Destroyer as a "tin can”. Boy, what an enlightening I got. During my two weeks about the Watts, the Skipper must have headed for the roughest part of the Pacific. Even some of the crew was sick. I got off the "can” and finished my senior year in high school. As soon as I graduated, I reported on active duty. My first duty station was the U.S. Naval Hospital, Guam, Marianas. Once I got acclimated, it wasn’t too bad. I married an island girl, whose father was from Lima, Mt. I did my 2 years, and re-enlisted for 6 more years before my active duty was up. I spent 3 years on Guam, and I would love to go back some time. My next duty station was aboard an LPD. The U.S.S. Vancouver- LPD- 2. That was some of the best duty I had while in the Navy. I was a E-5 Commissaryman, aka, a cook. The Division CPO, made me "Jack of the Dust”. That meant that my job was to make the daily breakouts to the galley, keep records on supplies, and keep all the spaces "ship-shape”. Really, the only thing I hated about that duty was where we were delivering the Marines to, Viet Nam.  After a year on the Vancouver, it was time for a new duty station. My next duty station was the Naval Inshore Operations Training Center, Vallejo, California. I was stationed at Camp Roberts, outside of Paso Robles. They had some Naval personnel there so they had to have a Navy cook. Shortly after getting to Camp Roberts, I started having seizures, and the final end was a disability retirement after 7 ½ years. I am a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, a Gold Legacy Life Member of the V.F.W., and a Life Member of the Marine Corps. League. I have been a post commander 6 times, I have served in several different chairs in District 2, and I have been Dept. Chaplain for several years. I am currently the Sacristan at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Belt. My wife Annie & I have been married for 31 plus years. Between us we have 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren, that we know of. For all this, I thank God.