By Christopher Alexander, Admissions Officer
If excitement does not find you, go and find the excitement. That is very true of Gulfport Resident Lou Boyles. Born in Laurel, Mississippi, in 1931 he joined the Navy Reserves at the age of 17 (the earliest age he could join). Four months later he joined the active duty Navy. The military was his livelihood and life for the next 27 years.
Boyles’ spent the first three years of his career on a couple of small ships and as a swim instructor. It was the next 24 years of his service that really encouraged him to stay in the Navy. He got involved with underwater demolition (in what ultimately became the SEAL team—Sea, Air, Land). He said, “I stayed in so long due to my underwater demolition team experience and the varied exciting opportunities it provided. It was the best thing I have ever done.” He loved working with subs, swimming, boating and parachuting. He enjoyed his time in Okinawa where he completed Army Jump School. His overseas tours also included the Philippines and Korea. In fact, in July 2013 he, and 110 other ally troops were presented a medal from the South Korean government. Boyles was very privileged to represent the United States during the ceremony and sit at the head table during the banquet.
While he ended his military career after 27 years, he did not end the excitement that he experienced. He worked for several underwater salvage companies spending time in the North Sea and the Bering Sea. In fact, he lived in Scotland for 10 years and met and married his second wife. Boyles also earned his Marines Master License (captain’s license, sea going unlimited, from Aberdeen Technical College.)
He and his wife eventually ended up in Sand Point, Idaho when he “retired” from this civilian job. This however did not last long and his connection with the Sheriff’s department soon led to a seven year job. He retired once again and then took another job with the Federal government for about one year before really retiring. He and his wife sold their home and traveled in a motorhome for 7 years. He then decided to come to AFRH-G. Boyles said, “It’s a beautiful building and you never have to leave if you don’t want to---it’s wonderful.” He also likes the proximity to the beach and the health care.
Boyles’ wife lives in Southern California and he visits her often. He has two children in San Diego, one in Wisconsin and one in Alexandria, Virginia. He is an avid photographer having taken photos in the military as well as doing free-lance work. He is grateful to the Navy for providing the many opportunities and has loved all the exciting things he has gotten to do in his life and career.