August 1st, 2012, 21:14
BEEN HERE A WHILE
Once I Was A Navyman
The following will bring a tear and A smile to all who ever were on a Navy ship at
Sea even if you were not in the Navy. You will understand what it says.
Once I Was A Navy man
I like the Navy. I like standing on deck during a longvoyage with sea spray in my face and ocean winds whipping in from everywhere -The feel of the giant steel ship beneath me, it's engines driving against thesea is almost beyond understanding - It’s immense power makes the Navyman feelso insignificant but yet proud to be a small part of this ship - A small partof Her mission.
I like the Navy. I like the sound of taps over the shipsannouncing system, the ringing of the ships bell, the foghorns and stronglaughter of Navy men at work. I like the ships of the Navy - nervous dartingdestroyers, sleek proud cruisers, majestic battle ships, steady solid carriersand silent hidden submarines. I like the workhorse tugboats with their proudIndian names: Iroquois, Apache, Kiawah and Sioux - each stealthy powerful tugsafely guiding the warships to safe deep waters from all harbors.
I like the historic names of other proud Navy Ships: Midway,Hornet, Princeton, Sea Wolf and Saratoga. The Ozark, Hunley, William R. Rushand Turner, the, Missouri, Wichita, Iowa, Arizona and Manchester, as well asThe Sullivan’s, Enterprise, Tecumseh, Cole and Nautilus too- all majestic shipsof the line - Each ship commanding the respect of all Navymen that have knownHer - or were privileged to be a part of Her crew.
I like the bounce of Navy music and the tempo of a NavyBand, "Liberty Whites", “13 Button Blues”, the rare 72 hour libertyand the spice scent of a foreign port - I like shipmates I've sailed with,worked with, served with or have known: The Gunners Mate from the Iowacornfields; a Sonarman from the Colorado mountain country; a pal from Cairo,Alabama; an Italian from near Boston; some boogie boarders of California; andof course, a drawling friendly Oklahoma lad that hailed from Muskogee; and avery congenial Engineman from the Tennessee hills.
From all parts of the land they came - farms of the Midwest,small towns of New England - the red clay area and small towns of the South -the mountain and high prairie towns of the West - the beachfront towns of theAtlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf - All are American; all are comrades in arms- All are men of the sea and all are men of honor.
I like the adventure in my heart when the ship puts out tosea, and I like the electric thrill of sailing home again, with the wavinghands of welcome from family and friends, waiting on shore - The extended timeat sea drags; the going is rough on occasion. But there's the companionship ofrobust Navy laughter, the devil-may-care philosophy of the sea. This helps theNavyman - The remembrances of past shipmates fill the mind and restore thememory with images of other ships, other ports, and other cruises long past.Some memories are good, some are not so good, but all are etched in the mind ofthe Navyman - and most will be there forever.
After a day of work, there is the serenity of the sea atdusk. As white caps dance on the ocean waves, the sunset creates flaming cloudsthat float in folds over the horizon - as if painted there by a master. Thedarkness follows soon and is mysterious. The ship’s wake in darkness has ahypnotic effect, with foamy white froth and luminescence that forms neverending patterns in the turbulent waters - I like the lights of the ship indarkness - the masthead lights, the red and green sidelights and stern lights.They cut through the night and appear as a mirror of stars in darkness - There are rough stormy nights, and calm, quiet, still nights where the quiet of the mid-watch allows the ghosts of all the Sailors of the world to stand with you.They are abundant and unreachable, but ever apparent - And there is always the aroma of fresh coffee from the galley.
I like the legends of the Navy and the Navy men that created those legends. I like the proud names of Navy Heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Beach,Farragut, John McCain, Rickover and John Paul Jones. A man can find much in the Navy - comrades in arms, pride in his country - A man can find himself and can revel in this experience.
In years to come, when the Sailor is home from the sea, he will still recall with fondness the ocean spray on his face when the sea is angry - There will come a faint aroma of fresh paint in his nostrils, the echoof hearty laughter of the seafaring men who once were close companions - Now landlocked, he will grow wistful of his Navy days, when the seas were the largest part of him and a new port of call was always just over the horizon.
Recalling those days and times, he will stand taller andsay: "ONCE I WAS A NAVYMAN!”
E.A. Hughes, FTCM (SS), USN (Retired)
Copyright, 1958, 1978
J.E. Stevens U.S. Navy (Ret)
Believing in honor, courage, and commitment, the United States Marine Corps helps keep our country safe by their steadfast devotion to "God, Corps and Country "
August 1st, 2012 21:14
August 3rd, 2012, 17:39
very good John .Thanks for sharing.
HM3 John Willey FMF 75-82
August 3rd, 2012, 17:55
Love love love it! Wish my printer worked. I would print it out and give it to my Dad to read. Last year I took him to what probably will be his last Navy ship reunion. The one this year is in September again, but he's just not up to going this year. Glad I had that opportunity last year to meet those he served with aboard the USS Hickox, during the Korean War. It was an awesome trip and being that it was just me and my Dad, it made it even more awesome. It was nice to spend time with him and hear all those wonderful Navy stories! Thanks for posting that John
Proud Mom of Sgt Nick, USMC
August 18th, 2012, 16:08
Thats it Doc, Kristen. Did this post to mugshotbook, or faceprint or whatever it is? It should.
Originally Posted by DOCWILLEY
Really good Friar John.................
"It don't really hurt 'tll the bone shows".