Hey! Knucklehead…Close the door!
The navy really was an adventure. I joined bootcamp on my 18th birthday. I had to get out of Memphis. My superior joked at me. We had to shit, shower and shave in 10 minutes. Me, having never shaved before, cut myself a few times. He joked that most recruits don’t try to commit suicide until 2 or 3 weeks in. That is when it all began.
In “A-school” I was in the top 10% of the class. By doing so I was offered to jump from E-1 to E-4 if I signed up for another year (5 total). Never having been aboard a ship (3 or 4 months in) I assumed what’s another year it will be an adventure.
Well time went by. I got in fights with my shipmates. Fell in love with a few girls. Navigated by the stars and had a great time in many foriegn ports.
Off the coast of Beirut we fired flares on the beach to let the enemy know we know where they are. At the same time the Captain and Navigator were in a tiff because someone didn’t sharpen the pencils. That may be where the bad attitude flared up. I guess I always had a bad attitude. Maybe it is more of a rebellious attitude. Because I was always happy.
Then there is the time we ran aground in Helsinki and the Captain got fired and the Navigator got a promotion.
Mr. Reagan started a war on drugs (when at one time my boss was the chief dealer aboard) and cut costs on the Navy (Never Again Voluteer Yourself). Which in turn meant get rid of some sailors.
That’s when I started getting in trouble. I was accused of stealing, aka making use of some old binoculars stored in the storage bin aka garbage when we got brand new binoculars. Then I was accused of cussing out a superior officer because he got the keys to my truck and parked it on the pier trying to lure me in. It probably didn’t help when the Assistant Navigator ordered me to post on the bulletin board our chain of command. And I misspelled the abreviation for Assistant.
Because I went UA to New Orleans on a trip already planned and paid for. Then there was misconduct when I brought aboard a female companion with some non-alcoholic beer. And finally back to the drug test I guess I passed with flying colors. All of these mistakes added up and got me kicked out a few months before I was supposed to be discharged honorably.
I have been embarrassed about this for 30 years. It is a shame. My dad (3 years in the Navy) said he was ‘disappointed’ in me. That’s probably the worst of it all. That and losing my college money I saved up the whole time was negated; and still annoys me today. Now I am coming out of embarrassment, the closet and the chartroom -standing up for my first 4 years. Thankyou.
And a second thought or third, I watched all of these war movies growing up and they all had rebels.