The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Dennis W. Joynt Petty Officer - 2nd Class - U.S. Navy 1968 -1974


A situation that happened in several homes in the late 1960’s… a person who has graduated from high school wants to set out on his/her own course in life…his/her parents have a different plan.

Dennis Joynt completed a semester of college in Detroit, Michigan, then told his parents that he had joined the US Navy! He picked the Navy to honor his mother who was a Navy officer in WWII.

Dennis signed up under the “buddy plan”. This was a recruiting method used by the services that pretty much guaranteed that if you signed up with a friend, the Navy would assure you that you would both be together throughout the service in that branch. It was a good plan but the people signing should be of fairly equal smarts and skills. In this case, everything Dennis signed up for and would have achieved caused him to be held back because his buddy wasn’t up to the challenges. There was no work-around. If one signed up for it, that was how it was to go.

It was short bus ride from Detroit to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. The introductory events went fairly smoothly. On the second day, he was informed that authorities were looking for him. He was taken to a different building to take an important phone call. It happened that an Uncle had passed away. Dennis was given the options available and decided to stay where he was.

While in boot camp, he was offered a chance to be in the Company Drill Team. His position was to be the guidon bearer. That’s the person leading the entire Company in marches. He/she’s the one carrying the flag, out front.

Dennis and his colleagues did a lot of preparation work learning the rudiments of the Navy. They memorized the “General Orders” meticulously. They did the shoe shines and polish work in their buildings, they responded as required because they knew that if they worked together, success was at hand.

Graduation was at hand after twelve weeks of boot camp. Dennis had family members that attended the ceremonies! And soon, it was straight on to “A” school. The buddy system did not work out for the two sailors involved here.

Dennis went to Aviation Refueling School in Lakehurst, New Jersey. This training involved fire fighting - should a fire happen on a ship. They also learned the basics of fueling most other items. He went to Norfolk Naval Air Station for follow-on assignments.

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