|My name is Terry Lee Turner
I enlisted in May, 1979 after dropping out of high school in the 11th grade, my recruiter helped me to get my high school diploma prior to enlistment. I went to boot camp in San Diego and was given my choice if “A” schools. I was asked if I could swim and if I would like to fly. Well of course I said yes and ended up in the AW “A” school in Millington Tenn. I got through that, through Aircrew school in Pensacola, and S.E.R.E School in Warner Springs Ca., then the trouble started. While waiting for my “B” school to start, which would have been cool because that’s the AW flight school, I got in a little trouble and had my security clearance revoked. That’s how I ended up on the Ranger. They sent me to sea as a non-rated airman and I met her on her 80-81 cruise as she was leaving Sri-Lanka and bound for Pattaya Beach.
I guess God was on my side ‘cause when I reported on board instead of going to the Flight Deck or down below, they sent me to the AIMD Div. to work on yellow gear. There I met a lieutenant that I will never forget. He was a grounded P3 tactical officer and I was a grounded sensor operator. He gave me an opportunity and responsibility as the Tool Room Petty Officer, and when I stayed out of trouble for 6 months, he went to bat for me and helped me get my security clearance re-instated. At that time, the Ranger library just happened to have the classified E-4 rating exam for Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator. I took the test and was passed, advanced to AW3, and reported to the ASWOC to work for Lt. Peterson and Chief Ron (frog) Forgnoni.
I stayed on board Ranger until I was discharged honorably in May 1983. We had a lot of good times. Some of my favorites are: seeing the fighter jockeys sitting in their F-14’s reading books, hoping to launch during the Iran-Iraq conflict (they never launched), celebrating our second “Beer-Day” as we hit our 101st consecutive day in the I.O. and then stepping off onto my favorite port Perth Australia.
However there is one memory that surpasses all others and beats any ride at any theme park and that’s the thrill of finally getting to fly, to sit in an S-3A Viking, on a catapult, on board Ranger, and be part of a launch and recovery. After the military I moved around a little, worked in a factory in Indiana, and ended up back in California as a DJ in a Hollywood rock and roll night club. I currently work as a DataCenter Technical Specialist for First American in Anaheim (I finally put those computer skills to work). I’m studying computer programming and am currently living in Garden Grove with my beautiful wife and three outstanding children. I believe that being on board Ranger helped my soul and helped me to become a man, every child growing up should have such an opportunity.