Lifelong Fremont resident Dennis Smith volunteered for the United States Navy upon graduating from Ross High School in 1967. He spent the next 10 years serving his country while stationed around the United States.
Smith went through basic training on the Great Lakes and was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia until 1969. He re-enlisted and was sent to San Diego for four years. While stationed in California, Smith worked in the supply department as a laundryman. “I was assigned to a vintage World War II aircraft carrier,” Smith recalls. “The highlight of my time on that vessel was we were the prime recovery ship for the Apollo 16 and 17 space missions and Skylab I. The capsule came down with a typical parachute canopy no more than two hundred yards off the ship. It was a thrill of a lifetime.”
After San Diego, Smith went to Florida for two years and worked in the commissary of the Orlando Training Center. He then found himself aboard the USS John King, a guided missile destroyer back in Norfolk. “We went out overseas and had to launch one time. I assumed it was for practice!” Smith says being in West Palm Beach for the Bi-Centennial was special, too.
After his tour on the King, Smith decided to retire from the Navy. He achieved the rank of 2nd Class Petty Office or CO2.
Since his military career was complete, Smith returned home to Fremont. He worked for Fisher’s Big Wheel on State Street where Rite-Aid is currently located. Smith worked there for nine years handling general customer service duties until he suffered a severe disability.
Average Length of Study
2 years, Full time