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I refer to recent comments regarding ethnic minorities in the US military. I do believe there existed rampant racism in the US Navy. I reported aboard (actually volunteered for Vietnam duty) USS Halsey DLG 23 in October 1969 at San Diego California. The Officer of the Deck directed me to get some chow below decks. When I got to the messdeck all the seats were occupied except one at a long table with about a dozen black sailors. I got my dinner tray and sat down and the Black sailors starting cussing at me-I was dumbfounded. They didn't want a white sailor at their table. I stood up and said FZZZ U all I am eating my food here. I did not move and stayed there despite their protests. It got the attention of the rest of the crew most of whom wanted the black sailors segregated. It also got the attention of a few of the African American sailors who thanked me later for standing up for my right to sit where i wished. I later learned that the stewards for the Officers Saloon were all non-national Phillipine people. These guys could earn citizenship by serving as stewards to the officers for a period of seven years. I did not understand this policy then- nor now. One of these unfortunate Phillipino lads wandered on deck while combat operations were underway in Nam and was incinerated by one of our Terrier missiles-these guys had no English! I was among the crew who cleaned up the fantail of the ship that day.