Sherry Wilcox enlisted in the Navy in 1981 a year after she graduated high school. The Navy sent her to basic training in Orlando, Florida. Wilcox said running was particularly difficult for her due to the Florida humidity, which she wasn’t used to because she grew up in Wyoming.
After she completed basic training, the Navy assigned her to the Naval Air Station Annex in Bermuda, which is now closed. She served as a crewman aboard a medium harbor tug, the USS Coshecton. Wilcox also served aboard a fuel barge, a utility boat, and a captain’s gig. She said after she arrived in Bermuda, she spoke about her interest in becoming an engineman. She was promptly told to clean the bilge, or the stinky gunk and oil at the bottom of the boat. This motivated her to attain specialized engineering skills that allowed her to advance further in her Navy career.
In July 1984, Wilcox began further training in Great Lakes, Illinois. She learned to work on Class C gas turbines and V-71 Detroit diesels in August 1984. Wilcox said it sounded really impressive that she graduated in the top three of her class, but there were only three people in the class. However, she learned a lot and her two classmates did as well.
After six weeks of engineering training, Wilcox returned to Bermuda, where she continued to serve for a little over a year. In October 1985, Wilcox received an honorable discharge. Wilcox left the Navy at the rank of engineman second class. Wilcox said she is incredibly proud to have served the United States and to be a Veteran. Now, as a Department of Veterans Affairs employee working as a printing services specialist in the Office of Community Care, Wilcox said she enjoys serving her fellow Veterans.
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Editor: Claire Pei
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