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|11-28-2007, 01:41 PM||#1|
Advanced Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pea Ridge, FL
I Was A Sailor Once
Sharing a glimpse of the life many so dearly loved...
I liked standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my
and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe I
liked the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains
the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, harsh,
the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.
I liked Navy vessels -- plodding fleet auxiliaries and amphibs, sleek
submarines and steady solid aircraft carriers.
I liked the proud names of Navy ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga,
Sea, Antietam, Valley Forge - - memorials of great battles won and
I liked the lean angular names of Navy "tin-cans" and escorts, mementos
heroes who went before us.
And the others - - San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Chicago,
Oklahoma City, named for our cities.
I liked the tempo of a Navy band.
I liked liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.
I even liked the never ending paperwork and all hands working parties
ship filled herself with the multitude of supplies, both mundane and to
ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where
there was water to float her.
I liked sailors, officers and enlisted men from all parts of the land,
farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England, from the big cities,
mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trusted and
on them as they trusted and depended on me -- for professional
for comradeship, for strength and courage. In a word, they were
"shipmates"; then and forever.
I liked the surge of adventure in my heart, when the word was passed:
Hear This'' "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands
quarters for leaving port," and I liked the infectious thrill of
home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends
waiting pier side The work was hard and dangerous; the going rough at
times; the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of
Navy laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea
I liked the fierce and dangerous activity on the flight deck of
carriers, earlier named for battles won but sadly now named for
politicians. Enterprise, Independence, Boxer, Princeton and oh so many
more, some lost in battle, and sadly many scrapped.
I liked the names of the aircraft and helicopters; Skyraider, Intruder,
King, Phantom, Skyhawk, Demon, Skywarrior, Corsair, and many more that
bring to mind offensive and defensive orders of battle.
I liked the excitement of an alongside replenishment as my ship slid in
alongside the oilier and the cry of "Standby to receive shotlines"
the hard work of rigging spanwires and fuel hoses echoed across the
gap of water between the ships and welcomed the mail and fresh milk,
and vegetables that sometimes accompanied the fuel.
I liked the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as
fish flitted across the wave tops and sunset gave way to night.
I liked the feel of the Navy in darkness - the masthead and range
the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating
phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and
with the mirror of stars overhead. And I liked drifting off to sleep
by the myriad noises large and small that told me that my ship was
and well, and that my shipmates on watch would keep me safe.
I liked quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee -- the
of the Navy permeating everywhere.
And I liked hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes
racing at flank speed kept all hands on a razor edge of alertness.
I liked the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters,
hands man your battle stations," followed by the hurried clamor of
feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the
transformed herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to
weapon of war -- ready for anything.
And I liked the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad
dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still
I liked the traditions of the Navy and the men and now women who made
I liked the proud names of Navy heroes:Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut,
John Paul Jones and Burke.
A sailor could find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms, pride in self
country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent could find
In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, we still remember
with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible
shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over
bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint
echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of
flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the
and chief's quarters and mess decks.
Gone ashore for good we grow humble about our Navy days, when the seas
a part of us and a new port of call was ever over the horizon.
Remembering this, WE stand taller and say, " I WAS A SAILOR ONCE."
I sure do miss my Navy
NRA GOA CCRKBA
Happiness is a warm barrel
|11-28-2007, 09:11 PM||#2|
*Admin Tech Staff*
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SW MS
My Second protects your First
"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man,
but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand." - Susan B Anthony
|11-28-2007, 11:04 PM||#3|
Advanced Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bay Point, Kali..aka Gun Point
Wished I was more more mature when I was in the Navy & could have appreciated it then.
A bad day @ the Range, is better than a good day @ work.
|11-29-2007, 03:01 AM||#4|
Advanced Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnstown PA
God Bless, the author for we owe him and his brethern much!!!!!
I'm a heck of a "obesito illegitimo"