U.S. Army 1977–1979
John Bower grew up in Natick, Mass., and after college, enlisted in the all-volunteer Army and joined the 7th MP Company, 7th Infantry Division. From basic training at Fort Jackson and Fort Ord, he was sent to Livorno, Italy. John talks honestly about getting used to the military culture which was very different for a New Englander and the difficulties of the post-Vietnam War era. Marriage to another MP, the rampant drugs and the chaos in Italy after the kidnapping and murder of the President of France, contributed to the stresses in his life. After years of refusing help from the Veterans Administration, John, with guidance from the veterans’ liaison in the unemployment office, sought and received medical benefits. To this day he continues his therapy, stating that the VA saved him, and he encourages others to utilize their services.