Military Hero: George Dawdy
PORT LAVACA, Texas – George Dawdy is our Military Hero for the month of April.
In 1963, the Lubbock native was about to graduate from Calhoun County High School but he was also about to be drafted.
Wanting to have at least some control of where he would be placed, Dawdy went ahead and signed up.
“So I said to myself, ‘Self, you don’t want them to put you somewhere,’ so I joined up,” Dawdy said.
He served in the United States Navy as a boatswain’s mate, ship swimmer, and rescuer.
“And we actually got two guys, that different times they had fell off the ship or jumped, who knows,” Dawdy said. “We got them out and we felt good about that the whole trip if you save somebody’s life.”
A Port Lavaca resident, Dawdy is enjoying retirement after working for Union Carbide for several years.
“It was a family-toned unit, place to work, in other words, they cared about family, they cared about you,” Dawdy said. “I didn’t even know I got a vacation, I didn’t care, I had the best job in the world.”
His father died when Dawdy was a toddler, an absence that made him feel determined to reunite with his family as soon as he could after four years of service.
“I said, ‘I’m ready to go back home, I miss it,'” Dawdy said.
Once while attempting to retrieve a helicopter that had fallen into the water, Dawdy came upon a shark.
“When I looked down was a big old hammerhead shark,” Dawdy said. “But I didn’t take too many pictures because I didn’t want to be involved with it.”
Dawdy said that his service in the military gave him the training needed to become a self-sustaining individual.
“If you learn those things and do them well, people are looking for people coming out of the military with leadership skills,” Dawdy said.
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