After getting out of the service in 1969 I returned to the Midwest, Iowa/Nebraska area, and spent 20 years going through marriage and divorce and gaining a great daughter, then another marriage. The next 23 years were in California as Editor In Chief of BIKER Magazine and I am now Roving Editor for Easyriders Magazine, living back in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I ride a 1999 Road King named Elvis, a 2005 Road Glide named Pearl, and Ol’ Blue my shovelhead chopper. Elvis and Pearl gets lots of miles stacked on ’em, and Ol’ Blue rests most of the time. I have been very fortunate and lucky in my life and it ain’t over yet, brother. I’ll see ya on down the road somewhere. —Gailen ‘Clean’ Dean Shawler USN — 1965-1969 Roving Editor Easyriders Magazine Council Bluffs, Iowa
I received my “Greetings from the President of the United States” in late 1965 requesting I join his Army. Foxholes didn’t sound too appealing so I enlisted for four years in the U.S. Navy to see the World. After a record-rainfall boot camp in San Diego, I was sent to record-ice-storm damaged Norfolk, Virginia, for Communications Yeomen School. The years of 1966-1967 were spent doing an 18-month tour on the Tropical Island of Guam. I was a teletype operator in communications at Nimitz Hill, Admiral Bird’s headquarters. I have papers somewhere stating that I worked in the Pentagon, a location President Johnson set up office on Guam. I personally sent the message from Admiral Bird to President Johnson inviting him to stay at his residence while on the island. The USS Estes was my home the last two years of my stint. We were a communication ship supporting the Commander of Task Force 76. I made two cruises to Vietnam on this ship before it got decommissioned in 1969, and I got a month early out. I had achieved the rate of Third Class Petty Officer in 17 months and didn’t advance any higher because I would have had to change my rate to Yeomen or Radioman, neither of which appealed to me. I know my time in the Navy helped guide the rest of my life. The partyin’ in the many ports was fun, but more importantly was how people overseas lived, loved and worshiped. I am a Charter Member of American Legion Riders Iowa Post 731 and VFW Post 4325, in Mattoon, Illinois. 42 - TRMI AUGUST 2013
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