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George Sabol Navy

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George Paul Sabol - 912 Views
honored by Matthew Sabol, Son


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Assigned: USS America and USS Ponce
Highest Rank: Enlisted Four
Entered Service: 1/7/1984
Exited Service: 1/7/1988
Location of Service: Atlantic Ocena
Gender: male
Basic Training: Great Lakes, Illinois
Service Related Injury: Broken Hand
Military Position: Electricians Mate
Place of Separation: Norfolk, Virginia
From City: Murrysville
From State: Pennsylvania
Current City: Westerville
Current State: Ohio
Date of Birth: 02/1964
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  1984 George Sabol enlisted in the navy in July 1984. He was living in Murrysville, Pennsylvania and he was looking for a career and training. He chose the navy because it had the best educational opportunities and promised a better life after the service than the army. Sabol almost enlisted in the Army but his parents told him to check out the navy first.
  1984 George took an airplane to Chicago and then a bus to Great Lakes, Illinois for boot camp. The first day was very long. They did hair cuts first, then a physical, then uniforms. George described it as a “hurry up and wait” day. They also took out his wisdom teeth.
  1985 George found navy boot camp long and boring. There was not very much hardcore training. A typical day would go as follows. They woke up and made their bed then marched to breakfast. His barrack was the farthest from the cafeteria. They would have about ten minutes to eat after waiting in line to get their food. After breakfast they would march back and do drills on folding clothes and making beds. Then they would have an hour or two of personal time followed by marching back for lunch. Lunch was hurried then they did ship training. Then they would march to a hurried dinner then they would march back to their barracks get showered and lights out. George remembers one of his instructors. He was a petty officer who liked to yell a lot. He got through it with the mindset that it was half as hard as pledging to a fraternity a year before. He was also raised with a good work ethic.
  1985 George Sabol was not in any wars or see any combat. After his 10 month training in Great Lakes he went to Portsmouth to board the USS America, a carrier for a North Atlantic Cruise. After the cruise they stopped at Norfolk, Virginia briefly then went on their way to Guantanomo Bay. There they did a lot of drills. George was an electrician’s mate. He watched the electric panels for four hours then he would get 16 hours off on the USS America. On the way back he broke his hand fixing a fan and had to take shore leave to heal and do physical therapy. He tried to get back on the America but was instead put on the USS Ponce. The Ponce was a smaller ship that only had twelve EM’s compared to the 75 on the America. He had to watch the panels for four hours but only got eight hours off. He took another trip to Guantanomo Bay. They did all of their drills at night because the air conditioning was broken, so they had all day to play softball. As the electricians mate George had to sync the two engines on the Ponce. The sync had to be perfect or else one of the engines would blow up.
  1988 After Guantanomo he did two Mediterranean cruises and a Caribbean cruise at St. Thomas St. Croix and Gran Bahama. He also anchored in Boston harbor for a July Fourth demonstration. It was on his second Mediterranean cruise that George’s service ended so he took a helicopter to an airport on the main land then flew to Philadelphia then took a bus to his house in Norfolk.
  1988 George has a few entertaining memories of his service. George had applied for the nuclear program in the navy but to get in one had to have a perfect record. He got pulled over in Wisconsin when he was still in training and because he was an out-of-stater they had to bring him back to the station for him to pay for the ticket. They would not accept a check or a credit card and he did not have enough cash on him so he had to spend a night in jail. It went on his record that way and he was kicked out of the nuclear program. Another funny story was when he was on a Mediterranean cruise they were in a port and he came back way after curfew, drunk, with his buddy Rocco and they had to sign in. His signature was so bad that he did not get punished but Rocco had to stay o the ship next time they were in port. He also remembers that they ate a lot of crab legs on the ship and seeing The Judd’s in Guantanomo. He would communicate through letters and when they were in port he could call his family. After the service he got a job in construction in a couple weeks and went on to become an electrician.