Following graduation from high school Don worked at Kuner Empson canning plant, the pea harvest and at Gates Rubber Co. At the age of 17 Don enlisted in the United States Navy, his Dad had to sign. He did his Boot Camp and Service School â?? Signalman, training at Great Lakes Naval Station. He was assigned to a destroyer escort, although Don did not see any war zone action. He was honorably discharged on July 6, 1946.