Misawa air base, Amori prefecture, northern Japan ( early 1990 )
1. His draft lottery number was "4"
2. His friendly local draft board got wind of his less-than-stellar grade point average
With draft notice in hand, Pat found a friendly Navy recruiter who let him join the military branch with floating foxholes.
After stumbling through a longer-than-average boot camp (thanks to volunteering for Drum and Bugle Corps) in San Diego, he let himself be persuaded to change from AT (avionics technician) "A" school to the relative new rating of AW (anti-submarine equipment operator) being taught at Naval Air Station (NAS) Memphis. (Which is really to the north in Millington.)
Thanks to the extra two weeks of bootcamp, Pat's AW class was the first in several months to receive orders to VP squadrons.
Three class members even went to the same squadron, VP-4, stationed at NAS-Barber's Point, Hawaii. (Well someone had to go there.)
And as it happened, the squadron was and is nick-named the "skinny dragons".