REMEMBERING

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 22WRF, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,550
    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
    face
    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
    pipe,
    the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, harsh,
    and
    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,
    Coral
    Sea, Antietam, Valley Forge - - memorials of great battles won and
    tribulations overcome.

    I liked the lean angular names of Navy "tin-cans" and escorts, mementos
    of
    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
    as my
    ship filled herself with the multitude of supplies, both mundane and to
    cut
    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,
    the
    mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trusted and
    depended
    on them as they trusted and depended on me -- for professional
    competence,
    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:
    ''Now
    Hear This'' "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands
    to
    quarters for leaving port," and I liked the infectious thrill of
    sighting
    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
    robust
    Navy laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea
    was
    ever present.

    I liked the fierce and dangerous activity on the flight deck of
    aircraft
    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,
    Sea
    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"
    prefaced
    the hard work of rigging spanwires and fuel hoses echoed across the
    narrow
    gap of water between the ships and welcomed the mail and fresh milk,
    fruit
    and vegetables that sometimes accompanied the fuel.

    I liked the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as
    flying
    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
    lights,
    the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating
    phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and
    joined
    with the mirror of stars overhead. And I liked drifting off to sleep
    lulled
    by the myriad noises large and small that told me that my ship was
    alive
    and well, and that my shipmates on watch would keep me safe.

    I liked quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee -- the
    lifeblood
    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,
    all
    hands man your battle stations," followed by the hurried clamor of
    running
    feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the
    ship
    transformed herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to
    a
    weapon of war -- ready for anything.

    And I liked the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad
    in
    dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still
    recognize .

    I liked the traditions of the Navy and the men and now women who made
    them.
    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
    and
    country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent could find
    adulthood.

    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
    the
    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
    signal
    flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the
    wardroom
    and chief's quarters and mess decks.

    Gone ashore for good we grow humble about our Navy days, when the seas
    were
    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
    author unknown
  2. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    10,656
    Location:
    SW MS
  3. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    5,015
    Location:
    Bay Point, Kali..aka Gun Point
    Wished I was more more mature when I was in the Navy & could have appreciated it then. :eek:
  4. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,564
    Location:
    Johnstown PA
    God Bless, the author for we owe him and his brethern much!!!!!
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
General Discussion Remembering Pearl Harbor Dec 7, 2013
General Discussion Who are you remembering this Memorial Day? May 26, 2012
General Discussion Remembering Fallen Eagles: 12 December 1985 Dec 8, 2011
General Discussion Remembering the words of wisdom God has shared with humanity May 22, 2009
General Discussion remembering an old friend Feb 12, 2008

Share This Page