My history is in many ways similar to yours. I left high school early in order to enlist in the Navy, went off to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center on my 17th birthday, 30th October 1942. The Navy made a radio operator of me, and assigned to the Armed Guard. My only serious encounter with the enemy was at Salerno, an adventure I wouldn't care to repeat. As an AG RM, I served on four merchant vessels, a Liberty, two tankers and an army transport, and saw a good deal of the world, east and west. When the war ended, I was sent to the Fleet, serving on a net tender on our west coast and then on the staff of the commander of mine craft, Pacific, in the mine layer Terror.
Discharged at the expiration of my four-enlistment, I went back to my home in Indiana and enrolled at Indiana University, where I chose journalism as a major subject. Why, I can't say. After two years, I decided I had all the formal education I needed and found a job as a cub reporter on a newspaper in Hammond, Indiana. My entire working life was spent as a reporter and editor of one sort or another, most of it with the Los Angeles Times. Early on, I was advised: if you can't marry the publisher's daughter, marry the society editor, and I did, at my first place of employment. We were together for almost sixty years, until her death in 2008. Our only son is a lawyer, and a good one.