Jerry Roth B-52 Inflight Refueling

I’ve Always Wanted A Harley — Part Four

It’s 1972, should I go on to the Thirteenth Grade or to Viet Nam?

Jerry Roth
I’ve Always Wanted a Harley
7 min readAug 20, 2023

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I graduated in June of 1971 with no chance of going to a university and no desire to enroll in The Thirteenth Grade — a community college. The war was still going on in Southeast Asia and I wanted to fly Helicopters, so I started talking to Military Recruiters.

My first stop was the Army. When I told the soldier working the desk what I wanted, he visibly perked up and his posture improved. After trying to sell me on all the cool things the Army was doing, he asked, “Do you need those glasses to see?”

“Uh, yeah, I’ve been wearing them since I was ten. Why?

“Well, unfortunately we require applicants have 20/20 vision to go through Flight Training.”

I asked, “Why? There’s a good chance I’m going to get shot down anyway.”

His shoulders drooped back down and the sparkle left his eyes as he replied, “I know and I’m sorry, but those are the rules.” I thanked him and left. Disappointed but undaunted, I tried the Marines next. I got the same runaround from their recruiter, but he was even more disappointed than me!

With my dream of traveling the world and doing something cool and macho dampened, I realized I may need to find…

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Jerry Roth
I’ve Always Wanted a Harley

It’s only lonely at the top if you're there by yourself. 44 years of management experience I would love to share with you. Visit JerryRoth.com