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My name is Karl Kristiansen. I was born in Connecticut. I spent most of my childhood in Stonington, a small, seaside town on the Connecticut-Rhode Island border. My father was a commercial fisherman and since he was from Norway, life on the sea was a natural for him. My mother was a housewife. We were the typical '50's family. Much of my childhood was spent around the docks and fishing boats of Stonington. In 1954, my father and a few of the other fishermen decided to try their luck at shrimping in Brownsville, Texas. After a few months, and very little success, we returned to Stonington. Most of the Stonington boats were selling their catches in New Bedford, MA, so it was no surprise that in 1959, we packed up and moved.
New Bedford remained my home through my secondary school years. I graduated from New Bedford High School in 1965. I had the opportunity to go to college, but I opted for a hitch in the Navy. If you recall, at that time, you only had a few choices: go to college, wait to be drafted, enlist or get married and hope for the best.
After an exciting ten weeks at NTC Great Lakes and a couple of weeks leave, I flew to Subic Bay in the Philippines, to catch my ship, the USS Mansfield DD-728. Our main mission was plane guard duty with the carrier USS Kittyhawk. We also alternated three day support fire missions with the other ships in our group along the Vietnam coast and up the Saigon River a couple of times. A lot of excitement for an eighteen year old kid. We had liberty calls in Hong Kong, Yokosuka, Subic Bay and Pearl Harbor. In June of 1966 I went to CT (Communication Tech) school in Pensacola, FLA. Upon graduation, I was sent to Bremerhaven, Germany for two years or so. After being discharged from the Navy in 1969, I returned home and met the girl I would end up marrying in April of 1970. We have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. We live in Acushnet, MA., which is right outside New Bedford.
As far as work goes, I have been involved in the textile graphics field ever since I got out of the Navy. I started out printing hand screens and then got involved with the making flat bed and lacquer and Galvano rotary textile screens. For the last several years, I have been a supervisor in the Textile CAD department at RothTec Engraving Corp. I get to use state of the art equipment and software. I love working with computers. My first was an IBM PC-jr. I have graduated to a wireless network with a desktop and laptop. I'm not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have learned to do things with an image once I get a hold of it. I enjoy surfing the web and being involved in POW/MIA awareness programs such as Operation Just Cause and Operation Black Flag and making people aware of the plight of veterans who have health issues because of their exposure to Agent Orange. There are many wonderful and informative web sites out there and I want to see as many as I can. You can't learn if you don't look.
I enjoy working on my website (KarlsKorner.org). It helps me keep in touch with old shipmates and has afforded me the opportunity to meet new ones.