Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The Gipper: Haze Gray and Underway
Got back from the pier about midnight and wrote this...
Haven't been to that pier since '87. Memories of a younger me and my wife saying goodbye in the dark on the same pier. It was a different ship but with a strong emotional/historical connection to this ship (Connie then, USS Reagan now).
Sounds and smells of ship pierside don't change.
Kiddies in carseats in the dark parking lot with the hulking carrier looming dark overhead. Men standing quietly with wives and girlfriends putting off the final goodbyes.
Small groups of sailors walking through the base streets returning from one last night in town.
Dropped the Son&Heir and brought his vehicle back home to stash for the duration.
Wife and his girlfriend along for last hugz and kissez. Huddled up for a brief family prayer.
Hug and handshake and the expected cliche'd advice from me.
"Make 'em a hand. Keep your head on a swivel. Remember Grandad's advice. Remember to read your Bible." and finally, "It's your turn now."
Not to be melodramatic but it's late and especially mindful of all those deployed and serving. Aware of Norks recent adventurism, and rioting in Africa,...
It reminds one of the uncertainty of even a routine deployment of a Carrier group. Hymns always come to my mind at moments like these. Tonight rolling around in the back of my head the old favorite "... I can face uncertain days because He lives."
Made it out to Pt Loma before work this morning in time to see them clear the channel.
Godspeed to the crew of the USS Reagan and fair winds and following seas.