I can't speak for Cecil, and I'm sure he will eventually be back to answer you but I think he is out dancing tonight with our good friend Leti in Austin.
I do know that the draft was in effect and it was either one of the services or leave the country forever. Cec loves his country, choose the Navy as the least likely to see hand to hand murder and spent the entire time not going up for rate. He went in, served his four years, and came out still at the same rank as he entered...this is no small feat as the 'powers' were always on his ass to test upwards and couldn't fathom 'why' he would rather clean the heads (toliets) than wear bars. Several exclaimed that they had never run into anybody that wasn't interested in upping their salary and position...not until Cecil...who laid low and got out, intact and wiser.
His interest in Zen came about at this time and he brought many books home on the subject.