I’m proud to say that Hotel Equities kicked off our company-wide military recruitment initiative this year. Through the process, I was happy to learn that HE already has many great former service members working with us. Active duty, veterans, and military spouses, you are all uniquely qualified for this industry. After all, that’s how I got my start…
I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves during a time when the Vietnam War was expanding. I served a total of six years. I went to Parris Island for Boot Camp and then, after Basic Training, went to Advanced Infantry training and Jungle Warfare training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The recruiting sergeant told me that my reserve unit would be activated and would spend approximately 13 months in Vietnam. I was also told that following a two-year tour of active duty, I would be re-assigned to my reserve unit, have the opportunity to return to college and, upon completion, would have the opportunity to apply for Officer’s Candidate School.
Upon completion of our training and just prior to my unit being shipped out to Vietnam, 10 members of our unit, including myself, were given orders to return to my hometown of Boston to help ready equipment and supplies to be shipped alongside us overseas. After the completion of the readying of our gear and while we were still awaiting our Vietnam assignment orders, we were given permission by our commanding officer to look for temporary work as long as we stayed in shape and called in to the base every day. We were assured by our CO that we could be leaving any day. Because I was honest in saying that I might be leaving for Vietnam soon, no one would hire me.
My uncle Al, who worked for Sheraton, helped me get a job interview at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and, while still awaiting my unit’s orders of deployment, I worked at the hotel as a mail and information clerk. For some unknown reason, our orders of assignment to Vietnam never came. Here I am 50 years later, still excited about the hotel business and enjoying the hospitality industry as much as I did at the start. I am forever thankful that the General Manager of the hotel, Mr. Max Dean, took a chance and hired me.