87 SIR!

So, as the Plus +1 and I were doing the Saturday errands, I looked at my watch and it hit
me....on this day 30...THIRTY, Three-Zero years ago, I stood in the hot and humid environment of Annapolis, Maryland and became a midshipman in the United States Navy....darn that seemed so long ago.  Many of those memories have faded, and some of them will stay with me all my life...the smell of sweaty whiteworks...chow calls...comarounds...PEP..."GOOD MORNING EIGHTY SEVEN!!"  More pushup...situps...running...Reef Points....

"How's the Cow"  "Sir, she walks, she talks, she's full of chalk..."

"How long have you been in the Navy?"  "All me bloomin life sir, I was born on the crest of a wave and rocked in the cradle of the deep...."

I was a small town boy from Oklahoma...yes, a landlocked state...I still get a lotta crap about that....

It was at Annapolis that I learned about teamwork, comradeship...helping out your buddy...and even sometimes the Noble Order of the Blue Falcon.

I made two important decisions while at Canoe U...ONE...I wouldn't let myself be defeated by doubt or hard work...I certainly had plenty of the former and not enough of the latter...and SECOND...I would be a history major.  That decision didn't come easy, but when I made it...I was glad to have the inestimable help of Professor Craig Symonds as my academic advisor.  He was  a fantastic teacher and an invaluable mentor.  Any success I have had as a writer, teacher, and student of history I owe to him. 

I just had my 25th class reunion...and it was just like being at the Rams Head Tavern with 22nd Company...a bit heavier...a bit grayer...some...a bit balder...but stories were told, beer was drunk...glasses were raised to fallen classmates...and for just a few hours, we were all invincible 21 year old First Class Midshipman again...and the world was our oyster. I was fortunate enough to have a fine naval career as a Naval Flight Officer in the mighty...and now retired P-3 Orion.  I served in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Joint Endeavor, and lots of other missions and deployments.  I wouldn't have traded my time in the Navy for anything...my only regret is that circumstances prevented my from serving a full 20 year career...but God has a sense of humor when he gives you a mission in life.  So, today I will think of that time long, long ago...and maybe even look up the menu for evening meal....hmmmm Neeb's Loaf and Cannonballs with Hard Sauce....  Carry On, Pleber...Carry On.....87 SIR!