When You Understand...


When the hatch closes over your head, the

OOD says last man down, and the COW says

green board, you understand the meaning of adventure.

When the only thing between you and millions

of gallons of seawater is a steel hull and some

closed valves, you understand the meaning of courage.

When in hostile waters, sonar calls out to the Conn

“high speed screws, torpedo in the water”

you understand the meaning of fear.

When the messenger passes out the only family

grams the satellite could catch, and yours isn’t

one of them, you understand the meaning of loneliness.

When hissing water in the overhead turns from

a slight annoyance, to a terrifying rushing

cascade, bouncing off the hull and equipment,

you understand the meaning of survival.

When you hear the quick sound that a curtain

makes on your rack that indicates your watch is

about to begin, you understand the meaning of irritation.

When you see a brother stand at attention while

the Captain pins on the fish he worked so hard

to earn, you understand the meaning of pride.

When you retire and they pipe you over the side

for the very last time, you understand the meaning of

great sadness.

When your eyes grow dim and your strength

ebbs with age, and you see a submarine getting

underway, you understand the meaning of envy.

When a shipmate from a time so long ago

passes on, and people say so many things they

wish they had said before they departed,

you understand the meaning of regret.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN

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Norfolk, VA  2020 (SES)  ©

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