“…without a Respectable Navy, Alas America!” – Captain John Paul Jones
“A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.” – President Theodore Roosevelt
“I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.'” – President John F. Kennedy
Though at times, many time, I hated being in the Navy, I fear that I have fallen prey to that disease of most old men; Looking back. But look back I do, and with great pride at what I was a part of. I was about as dumb as they come, but being there; and being there with all the great people that I was surrounded with, now gives me a great and awesome feeling of honor. An outsider looking in would have thought that we all hated each other with all the pseudo-derision we plied to one another. It seems that every little group was “dissin'” the others. Electricians calling ELTs “smooth crotches”, Machinist Mates “knuckle draggers”. Then it was the “f’ing nukes” vs. the “forward pukes”. But all bubbleheads banded together against the “target” sailors. Yeah, I guess it was just part of the culture. And God help you if you showed any sort of weakness! Any weakness would be acted on quickly! Whew! But man, when it hit the fan, we were all part of the same crew. Sure you’d get aggravated at this person, or that person, but we were… well we were all in the same boat! And we knew it too.
Since I’ve been a civilian, I’ve missed the camaraderie we had on the boat. People out here hold grudges. I’m the same person I’ve always been. I tend to tell it like it is, and I rarely hold my tongue. But I will praise you, and I will apologize if I’m wrong. It’s not about me, it’s about us. That’s the way I feel at our company. But out here in the civilian world, “they” really do eat each other! Sad. Gossip mongers and such. Well, yeah the radio shack was “rumor control central” but hell that was different. Wasn’t it?
I just have to say that I would work with any of my old shipmates again. No matter what. I do think we were changed by that time, and, in my opinion, changed for the better.
I know you guys have all gone on to succeed in all that you’ve done. I just hope that we have all shown those around us a bit of what was good about that time.
Ok. Back to work.