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Before Mike Gorman became the beloved voice of the Boston Celtics, he pridefully served his country.
Gorman was an aviator for the United States Navy from 1970-75. Fifty years later, he looks back at the experience as one that taught many valuable life lessons.
"You emerge with a real sense of what a chain of command is all about and where you stand in it, and how you perform in it to move up," Gorman said as part of NBC Sports Boston's VA (Veterans Affairs) "Did You Know?" series. "That is taught to you very well.
"I think what it is is a great evening off of rich people, poor people, Black people, white people, Hispanics, everyone's kind of thrown into a melting pot. You go through boot camp, and the most important guy is the guy here and the guy here next to you on either side.
"You learn a lot about friendships, about obligations to others. I think it's a good thing, and I think our military would be a better place -- I think our military is outstanding -- but I think it would be a better place with mandatory service."
When military veterans like Gorman return after serving their country, the VA provides them life-long healthcare services. Gorman lauds the organization for its treatment and care for veterans nationwide.
"The VA is a great organization," Gorman said. "We need to probably overfund it a little bit more with money because they're taking care of people who are coming back from places where we don't want to be. That's a big deal, and the VA does a great job of looking out for those folks when they come back."
Since serving in the Navy, Gorman has been the heart and soul of Boston Celtics basketball. The 75-year-old has been the play-by-play voice of the C's since 1981, when he teamed up with another legend in Tommy Heinsohn. The broadcasting duo lasted 39 years from '81 until Heinsohn's death in 2020.
Gorman has five Emmy awards on his mantle and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. He has called thousands of Celtics games. But for him, the time he spent as a Naval pilot will always stand out as the ultimate honor.
Hear Gorman talk about his experience in the U.S. Navy in the video above.