Sunday, June 18, 2017

road taken

Navy: I have served in a USNavy destroyer. It is, in my mind and memories, the elemental, basic, fundamental essence of naval service, the best you can be. My first sea duty and first assignment upon completing Navy schools after university, my destroyer duty was what made me decide to transfer from naval reserve to Regular Navy for a twenty year career. It is probably one of few decisions and steps, roads taken at life's crossroads, that I absolutely would do again without doubt, hesitation or second thought, if I were graduating from college into life today. The tragedy of USS Fitzgerald, and now with the report of seven dead, drowned in crew berthing compartments, hurts more, and ineffably, than I can understand of myself. I am grateful that I have this morning alone to look out on the sea, all things bright and beautiful

Judging by news reports that the ship's captain, badly injured -- that his cabin was completely destroyed, a major fact seems to have been that the captain apparently was not on the bridge when his ship was in waters of heavy traffic. There is no evading or escaping responsibility for the grave, deadly consequences, compounding the tragedy for trusting, well-meaning sailors and families, including the dead, all the officers and crew, and those on the bridge. The story will be filled with "if only." We shall see.

Remembered here before, I have slept in a cabin at the waterline of a destroyer, my cheek against the cool skin of the ship, lulled to sleep by the sound of the sea rushing by a fraction of an inch outside my ear. It was ultimate peace.

Center pic: thanks, PB407!

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