"The most important thing the military has taught me is to be responsible and dedicated. It is our duty to serve our country."
My name is Gary Caporale and I was an E4 in the Army from 1970-1972, followed by my service in the National Guard from 1972-1978. Back at home, I had four sisters. Being the only guy, I wanted to leave home. Before me, my dad had served in WW2, and my brother was serving in the navy. He served for 28 years. These two inspired me to serve my country, and immediately after high school, I signed up.
Military life was a massive change. The training was strict and discipline was needed to keep fighting. On top of this, we motivated each other to keep pushing through anything that came our way.
I served in Germany as a NATO guard. My duties are to be kept secret. I was lucky that I was 17 at the time; I was deemed ‘too young’ to see combat, as my mother never approved. The friendships that I formed did not last beyond my service.
The most important thing the military has taught me is to be responsible and dedicated. It is our duty to serve our country. I am not satisfied with my service time. I did not have a high school diploma. I tried to get it when I was in, so I could get further education. However, I was denied this. That is my only regret.I think nowadays it is much easier, but in my day it was not possible.