"Three or four days before I was ready to graduate from basic training, an officer and our company commander, who was a chief petty officer, came walking through the barracks, and they said, 'Everybody six foot and over stand in front of your bunks.'…

"Two weeks before I was ready to graduate high school, I got into serious trouble; I was taken before a judge and given two choices: enlist in the military or go to jail. Well, I didn’t know what the military was all about, but I had a pretty good…

"We had a very small apartment in the section of New York called Sunnyside in Queens. Where [my mother] worked, the textile company was in Manhattan, so she would leave the house at 7 or 7:15 in the morning, catch the subway which was a block and a…