Memorial Day

Another Memorial Day is upon us. While it can be a celebration of life, it is also a time to remember those who have sacrificed. A major theme of this blog is “…Those who have gone before.” Every Memorial Day I get quite emotional. I have personally met men who later died in battle or sneak attacks. It would take one misstep, or one fluke for me to join their ranks.

For most men of arms that I know, it is a time of deep reflection.

“Will my family be taken care of if I’m gone?”
“What will my parents think?”
“Will I honor my family and my service by my actions?”

About 2 years ago, I had a post about my personal honor roll. As with any warrior, it grows every year. On the one hand, I am thankful I am still here. On the other, there but for the grace of God go I.

We had 2 sailors die in a mudslide this year. There was nothing we could do about it. They were living in that location because of their duty station. This is their day just as much as those who have died in combat.

There are others as well. Many warriors suffer from PTSD. This is their day too. Some of their sanity was lost at war.

By all means, honor our men and women of the Armed Forces. But this is a day for them to honor their lost brothers and sisters or fathers and mothers. For some, it is quite personal.

This is not a day to praise a veteran or an active Armed Service member. It is a day to thank the young child that will never meet their father. It is a day to thank the Gold Star mother or wife. It is a day to remember the father who had to bury his son. That is an inversion of the natural order.

We have our days. We have Armed Forces Day and Veteran’s Day. This is our day to honor our fallen brethren. We shall drink and carry on, because that is the way the military honors their own. We will remember funny anecdotes and stories.

On Monday, we will be placing flags on the graves of veterans at the local cemetery. It Is a small action. It means the world to some. I find it to be quite an honor.

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

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A Very Good Friday

Today was a very good day. I made every right decision possible, a couple on accident. Chiefs and First Classes do Physical Training(PT) together once a week. Ideally, the First Classes up for Chief will lead. This doesn’t always happen. My rate is famous for our work ethic and leadership. If no one leads, we will. That is the character of every single person I know in my rate.

During PT, we got a stern talking to by a Chief. No one was stepping up. I waited a minute, and then took charge. I should mention that I suck at some parts of PT, but I will lead until I fall flat on my face. I decided to start barking orders.

“Unit! Fall in! Two abreast! Short and slow guys up front. Forward, march. Double time, march. Commence running cadence.” That was right decision number one. My current Chief was very proud. According to him, my stock went up in the eyes of the other Chiefs.

Now for my twofer. I decided to go back to the office after training. I cut my guys loose at the traditional Friday time. Something told me to hang out, so I abided. Chief called five minutes later. He had been given the wrong location for a certain meeting. It was my chance to back him up. I was way closer. I showed up in his stead for the first bit.

It is the job of a First Class to help his Chief. In the course of the meeting, Chief referred a couple of questions to me. I answered them. This particular meeting had a lot of higher ups. I subscribe to “call the baby ugly”. I will answer any question. You may not like the answer, but it will be the stone cold truth to the best of my knowledge. Afterwards, I had a sidebar with my Chief. We discussed the various aspects of the Safety Program. Considering that I am an Assistant LPO, I felt that I was quite successful. Our LPO was TAD elsewhere.

I am now comfortable in the knowledge that my Chief knows that I am competent. He knows that he can call me, and I will step up. I don’t sugarcoat answers, but I will frame them in such a manner, that the CO will get his information.

The long story short is, if you make the Chief look good; he will make you look good.

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

Sea stories

I feel we must take a break from the doom and glom to tell a funny anecdote.

I believe that sea stories have been around as long as the Navy. I was telling a sea story to my guys one day when work was slow.

The most recent cruiser I was on was on a 3 week mission to test some equipment, and generally antagonize a certain foreign power. That much is routine. As a snipe, I was given broad and unclassified strokes of the big picture. Fast forward to present day and a general purpose bull session. My story involved phrases such as “secret squirrel shit”, “all spark”, and classified beyond my clearance and pay grade”. One guy snidely remarked that it sounded like a movie, and asked if we had dropped a robot alien in the ocean.

Our CO had been walking around our area, and stealth entered into our shop. He motioned the guy that saw him to skip the formalities(attention on deck, e.g.). When one guy finally addressed the CO, he seemed disappointed that he didn’t get to hear the conclusion of the story.

Lucky for us, we weren’t talking about anything untoward.

Cracker barrel

In the many BSA camps I attended in my youth, Saturday night snack/fellowship was a mix of several snack foods. In that vein, this post will have several comments on the multiple thoughts in my head.

Constitution Day. I was once given a pocket copy of the US Constitution by a Master Chief I worked for. His unsolicited explanation was that every sailor should read what they have sworn to defend. I agree.

Military bases arming everyone!? It might surprise you to know that the military has a large number of people that remind one of Barney Fife. Fireman Pokey from the Auxiliary Ship for one example. During OIF, my CG considered arming the engineering rover and watch officer. That idea got no traction because some of the engineers in both watch stations had issues. COs can authorize personal weapons on base, but rarely do for the aforementioned reasons.

PRT and diets Ask any Southern or Southernish person you know, and they will tell you that no matter how much you church up a veggie soup, if it doesn’t have meat in it, it is tedious to eat.

Clearances. I have one. The screening was quite tedious and the process lengthy. I suspect that some “sacred” groups get more of a pass than others. There are several things that the check goes over, some of which would fail you for owning a gun under current law.

Race and other factors. Predictably, there was no liberal outcry over the skin tone. Their house of cards is falling down around their ears, and would be amusing if it wasn’t so perilous to this once great country.

Gun control and information control. There were a number of violations of current gun laws, presumably due to no one wanting to be called racist. 3 firearms misuses in 3 states would be enough to get most people DQ’d for any firearm purchase, as well as almost any government clearance. A certain Senator from Cali is realizing that “undocumented journalists” have the power to upset the liberal’s apple cart and is trying to compartmentalize and dissect the 1st Amendment in ways reminiscent of how they butchered the 2nd. Everyone laughed at gun guys when we predicted this. By the way, there is no such thing on the civilian market as an AR-15 shotgun. There is an under barrel grenade launcher with beehive rounds for the M-4 that is highly illegal on the civilian market. Dude used the VP’s preferred weapon, but no one in the propaganda arm of the DNC wants to make the VP look dumb(er). Instead of outlawing guns, why don’t we outlaw murder? Oh, wait, we have? How come there are still murders? That was a rhetorical question.

General food for thought. If you open carry, a revolver makes you look like a cowboy. Some guns make you look like a lunatic. I know that is dumb, but image carries a lot of weight.

That is all. 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.

Those who have gone before(again)

While making the rounds of the blogroll, http://mostlycajun.com has reminded me of two monumental events in history that today is the anniversary of:

1942World War II: Battle of Midway. U.S. Navy dive bombers sink the Japanese cruiser Mikuma and four Japanese carriers, the Kaga, Akagi, Hiryu and Soryu. The Japanese don’t give up yet, but the Imperial Japanese Navy is done for. Snipe comments: This was the turning point of the War in the Pacific.  This is also why a US Sailor can pretty much get free drinks all over Australia.  They remember and they aren’t even American.  All sailors learn the importance of this battle from boot camp onward.  If not for this battle, Australia was on the Japs list of coming attractions. 

1944World War II: Battle of Normandy begins. D-Day, code named Operation Overlord, commences with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history. Watch the opening scenes of “Saving Private Ryan”.

I have admitted in many previous posts that I have the utmost respect and awe for, “…those who have gone before me, to defend freedom and democracy around the world.”

The men who participated in the above battles, from all services, are the reason I could choose which branch of service to join.  They are the reason I can hillbilly it up right now, which amounts to drinking beer and watching the CMT Music Awards on TV.

Now for what tears it.  We receive a monthly calendar from our apartment complex that highlights “important” or noteworthy dates in history.  There is no mention of D-Day.  It talks about The Globe in England, the original Stars and Stripes, a roller coaster in Coney Island, Ford’s first auto, and a bunch of other historical shenanigans and drivel, i.e the founding of CNN.  I guess the moonbats running this place don’t want us to remember the sound trouncing thier ideas took in the ’40s.

Today marks the anniversary of one of the most well known battles in history.  If you are an American, it is your duty to remember.  That is all.  Fall out, and carry out the plan of the day.