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Several months after I was assigned to Bryan Air Force Base, word came that the base would close on a stated date several months in the future. I received notice about the same time that I had the option to sign on for indefinite status, which would put me on a career path in the Air Force, or be released from active duty within a certain range of dates. I chose to be released in Mid-January 1958 so I could enter graduate school when the new semester got under way at Texas A & M.
I began exploring possibilities for graduate school. Because of my interest in chickens, I visited the Poultry Science Department first to see about opportunities there. At mid-term of the school year, all assistantships and fellowships available were committed. The department head encouraged me to go ahead and enroll and apply for financial assistance for the fall semester. With immediate needs, that possibility would not work for me because I had a family to support.
I discussed my future plans a few days later with a professor who also attended our church. He told me that he had a student completing a master’s degree and going into military service about the same time I needed a job. He indicated that if I would pursue a degree in plant pathology with a minor in biochemistry he had a job for me. I accepted the offer, willing to change directions in order to have an opportunity to pursue an advanced degree while earning a living for my family.
Because of this opportunity which came open at the right time and place I was able to pursue my graduate school plans.
Cliff H. - 1958