By Becca Hart
At all OTC offices there’s always someone seen behind the desk typing on a computer or filling out paperwork. To most students the adult behind the counter may seem to be average and has never done something extreme in their life. But they never stop to consider and ask about the person’s pages before judging their cover.
In the OTC office of Middle College is Adam Monsees a secretary for high schoolers. He may be a secretary now, however few people know the previous twenty-three years of service Monsees spent serving our country in the U.S. Navy.
“I joined the U.S. Navy on February 3rd of 1998 because I really didn’t have any money or desire to attend college. I knew that the Navy would give me better opportunities in the future and also earn the money to go to college afterwards if I so chose too,” said Monsees.
Great Lakes U.S. Naval Recruit Training Command, Illinois was the first training site for the young recruit. “Once I arrived at basic training it was the middle of winter in Illinois so it didn’t get above zero for the first month I was there,” said Monsees, “then when you get off the bus from the airport at the recruiting command up there they immediately start yelling and so the first thought that goes through everybody’s mind is, ‘what did I just get myself into?’”
Upon graduation of the eight weeks he attended recruit training he shortly met his wife when in route to his first assigned destination in Groton, Connecticut for shore duty at a submarine base in 1988. “She was my best friend from high-school’s fiancé’s roommate. He was at work and said ‘why don’t you go on over and hang out with my fiancé’s roommate. She’s really nice and she won’t mind if you stay and talk with her.’ So after just talking to her for a few minutes, I knew that this was the one.”
Monsees was assigned his first vessel In September 1990 and boarded the USS Holland in Charleston, South Carolina. Upon his service on the USS Holland, his first daughter was born. He then transferred three years later to his next assigned vessel, the USS Frank cable, in which his second daughter was born. His third daughter was born another three years later when he served shore duty in Springfield, Missouri before transferring to his next vessel, the USS Pioneer. Throughout the years after the birth of his children he served the USS Ardent as well as the USS Cormorant.
July 9th, 2011 Monsees retired from the Navy. “I already at that point have done 23 years of service in the Navy. I felt that was enough service I have given. I missed out on a lot of time with my wife and my kids, and they were entering their high-school years and going on and furthering their careers, so I wanted to take more opportunity to spend time with them.”
Through the four years after his retirement, Monsees was able to attend more school activities with his daughters that he never had the opportunity of doing while in the Navy. Today his oldest daughter of twenty-four now has his first grand-daughter, soon to deliver his grand-son. His second daughter of twenty-one is planned to be wed in February and his youngest of eighteen is soon to graduate high-school.
“After 23 years of doing military service you have to find new ways to train your brain to do things,” said Monsees, “Some of the things I enjoy doing now is, I’m a big movie watcher and that’s why I have my own theater room in my house. I collect a lot of movies that remind me of a lot of different things. I collect memorabilia from movies, so I have all the lightsabers from star wars, I have all the swords from the lord of the rings, I have a lot of different things from my favorite movies. I like to do a lot of wood working and working with my hands and using my brain for a lot of stuff. I play a lot of xbox games and I also found out after I retired that I really enjoy cooking, so it’s a good outlet for me as a retired person.”
Today Monsees serves as a secretary at middle college because he claims that he’s done and seen a lot of things that were more high level stress activities to do with the navy and he wanted to do something that was lower key and also provided him the most opportunity to match with his wife’s time schedule as she works at central high school as the register. His position as a secretary at OTC Middle College provided the opportunity to do so.
There’s parts of the Navy that Monsees misses even today, such as the comradery with other people and going to new places he’s never been before. “But as they say in the Navy, the only easy day was yesterday, so a lot of those harder days are behind me and im ready for any new adventures in the future.”