Happy Birthday, WV

Today marks the founding of my home state. In the grand tradition of the Founding Fathers, a bunch of folks in Wheeling told Virginians how they really felt about secession. No matter how far I go, West Virginia is still my home. Spelling errors left in the state song lyrics. Credit to http://50states.com

West Virginia Hills
Words by Mrs. Ellen King,
Music by H. E. Engle

1. Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand,
With their summits bathed in glory, Like our Prince Immanuel’s Land!
Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills,
As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?


Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills!
If o’er sea o’er land I roam, Still I’ll think of happy home,
And my friends among the West Virginia hills.

2. Oh, the West Virginia hills! Where my childhood hours were passed,
Where I often wandered lonely, And the future tried to cast;
Many are our visions bright, Which the future ne’er fulfills;
But how sunny were my daydreams On those West Virginia hills!


3. Oh, the West Virginia hills! How unchang’d they seem to stand,
With their summits pointed skyward To the Great Almighty’s Land!
Many changes I can see, Which my heart with sadness fills;
But no changes can be noticed In those West Virginia hills.


4. Oh, the West Virginia hills! I must bid you now adieu.
In my home beyond the mountains I shall ever dream of you;
In the evening time of life, If my Father only wills,
I shall still behold the vision Of those West Virginia hills.


Submitted by: Chip Hendricks from Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Just for the record, Chip is a band director/music teacher in the great state of West Virginia!


Happy Birthday US Army

A decent chunk of my blog roll and family tree is comprised of Army veterans. As much as each service likes to poke fun at the other, we are all on the same team. If an outsider or bad guy messed with a Navy guy, the Army guy would take up for the Navy guy without a doubt. The other way around, too. In one of my old shops used to try and goad a USMC Reserve Master Gunny into saying which service he liked best. His “real” job was QA for the Navy. He always answered that it was an irrelevant question because we are all on the same team. For all my Army friends out there


“You are never too poor to pay attention.” Dad.
“To meet a threat or challenge, you must be aware that it exists.” Every other safety stand down I have ever attended.

These days the military as a whole, is doing a lot to raise awareness of sexual assault. We are aware there is a problem. We are taking steps to eliminate the problem. Nick at http://rhinoden.rangerup.com/ breaks down the whole thing to bite size bits.

For my part as an HT1, I must be aware of the people around me on and off duty. If something untoward is going down; it is my duty as a Petty Officer and as a man to act. I was listening to the radio today and it was mentioned that trafficking in persons and sexual slavery still happens. You must be aware of it to combat it. If any female sailor(or anyone for that matter) has been a victim, I should be aware of the signs and encourage him/her to seek the appropriate care.

We have a whole host of things beyond sexual assault that we are trained to be aware of. Safety, OPSEC, leadership responsibilities, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide prevention and others. In my opinion, none of these problems will ever be completely solved due to the fallen nature of man.

The bottom line is being aware can save lives. Too many people walk around with their eyes half shut or their head inserted in their posterior. Be aware of your people. Know your people. Practice situational awareness at all times. We don’t need to wear reflective belts if we are aware of our surroundings(they are useful for some stuff, though).

I am also aware that today is the Army’s birthday, Flag Day, and National bourbon day. Happy birthday all and stay safe out there.

Until next time, keep yourself mentally awake, fall out and carry out the plan of the day.

Work and blogging

The difference between being an HT1 this time and HT1 last time is the sailors. I have HT2’s working in my shop that are solid. We are a small shop. HT2’s and HT1’s. That’s it. No Firemen, no HT3s. An HT2 has been in long enough to know the score. Mistakes happen. They are man enough to admit when they goofed and keep us out of the limelight(the bad spotlight). On the tender, I had a bunch of new misfits. Never a dull moment, but I took a lot of heat for various rookie mistakes. My shop also has 2 Eagle Scouts, of which I am one. That giu6ves us stuff to blow smoke about when the workload is slow.

We accomplished several complex tasks today while the boss HT1 is on leave. We succeeded and I was proud. I started following various blogs and plan to go through all my blog friends and add the links from their blog rolls that correspond to my interests and world view.

That is all. Be Prepared. Fall out, and carry out the plan of the day.

Core Values

Grin and Barrett over at http://rhinoden.rangerup.com/grammatical-retirement-conditional-courage/ has an excellent article about what constitutes real courage. Coincidentally, the Cub Scout idea of the month is being brave, which goes hand in hand with courage. Naturally that got my wheels turning in my head.

What makes a King out of a slave? Courage.

Even pacifists can show courage. They are showing courage by standing up for what they believe in the face of adverse opinion(in some cases).

Let’s talk about core values. When I was a Boy Scout, we had the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto, and Scout Slogan. All of these constitute core values. I am a Christian. The Bible informs my core values. I am a sailor. The Navy’s Core Values are what I strive to live every day while I am associated with that particular canoe club. The Navy’s Core Values are what we will discuss here.

We had to discuss Navy Values when we were going through training required of all new PO1s.

Honor-Say what you mean and mean what you say. Your word should be as good as gospel.

Courage- Word Central, an elementary school website defines courage as “strength of mind to carry on in spite of danger or difficulty”

Commitment-good old follow through.

All of the above go together. The Rhino Den article breaks it down thoroughly. Go read. I have showed courage and fear in my lifetime. Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

Sorry for all the actors, politicians and fakes out there. The word courage should be reserved for people who do truly brave things. Amputees going back to war, the soldier who dives on a grenade to save his brothers, the first responders of all types who run towards danger. Rhino Den will be linked on my side bar.

That is all. Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.