Thursday, August 25, 2016

Touring foreign lands is a benefit of being in the NAVY!!

When I sat down to write this story that became SAILOR WHO CAME ASHORE, the reflections of the cities of importance in our history and peoples of the World I encountered reminded me at every stop of my own family whom I hadn't hugged in months ~ 9 months at least.  But I also thoroughly enjoyed being able to see with my own eyes the monuments to humanity such as the Great Pyramids, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Rock of Gibraltar, Stonehenge and the Kasbah.
Boston at Stonehenge 1975

However, handing to 17 of my 21 men their very own "Dear John" letters was almost more than I could handle......I knew full well how I'd feel should I receive one and even though grown men aren't supposed to cry, believe you me, watching these young men who had become like my own sons to me usually brought me to tears....if not while they were in my space, then afterwards.

We each knew what we were doing was record-making (we were the first nuclear powered vessel) USS California CGN-36 on the water and accompanying the Nimitz on her starboard side, along with the USS South Carolina CGN-36 on her port side.  Everything we did was new and frightening and exciting and very very hot.  Our engine rooms exceeded the heat in any engine room prior to this remarkable futuristic test.  This was what truly kept us going, knowing we were at the forefront of what could be something very special and having Admiral Rickover on our side kept our spirits soaring throughout our tour.

If you were also in the Viet Nam war I'd love to hear from you.  Give me a holler or send me an email....and thanks for reading my memories!   Stewart Douglas Boston