22 March 2006

Thinking to my own connections to history

I just happened to bounce over and read a few other blogs and ran across Chaotic Synaptic Activity talking about being haze gray and underway as part of Operation Attain Document. Which was the freedom of navigation exercise against Libya in 1986. I dropped a comment about being a kid when my father was deployed as part of that with the USS Coral Sea air wing. We talked back and forth a couple of times and I have been thinking tonight as I look around my office at pictures I have of my dad, uncle, god father, and other family friends. All of whom have worn Navy blue and gold at sometime in their life, how close a number of them were all part of various historical events.
I know my father was there as part of President Reagan's attack against Libya for sponsoring terrorism. An uncle of mine was stationed back in the states with the might EA-6B and was part of a crew that was able to get 3 birds from the Prowler squadrons stationed at Whidbey and enough flight crew and maintainers to take care of that many birds were flown out on a weekend after 24hrs from the phone call to meet up with the Coral Sea since the powers to be wanted some serious jamming on station for the air wing. I had a cousin that was a Corpsman attached to the Marines during the Inchon and Chosin campaigns, later on he was part of the FMF that landed in various place through out the Caribbean to assist the governments there against terrorists; he then went on as a Chief Petty Officer Corpsman to serve in Vietnam and left just before Tet '68. Another relative that I am looking at his picture right now as I type this was a Corpsman during World War 2 and was on an LST that was part of D-Day. He survived that day, but the ship he was on was torpedod by a German S-Boat on the way back home with wounded from D-Day, he had just assumed the watch in sickbay when the torpedo exploded in his berthing compartment killing his relief instantly along with 5 other guys in that space. He started life saving measures and was awarded a commendation for basically saving the life of about 4 guys just by himself after the inital attack. Again other people of my family or family friends scattered throughout history that now as a grown adult, I am finding out were there when the orders came through to be part of America's Big Stick or the tip of the spear or whatever other term you want to call it. Yet, when I was a kid I thought they looked cool or like heroes to me when they would come in thier uniforms or pictures would be broken out of them during family get togethers.

Then I started to think about my own involvement in history. I was on USS Oldship in 2001 and woke up to a live GQ alarm one night. Why? Well I was listening to the Boy Skipper talk about attack against the CONUS by agents unknown. Against our families, our friends, our homes. I stumbled in half sleep out to where we had a TV in our berthing compartment and watched live as the second plane struck the towers. Realized that this wasn't a drill. Upon which I experience a Chinese fire drill for real when 4 other guys all try to get dressed at the same time in a space about as big a walk in closet. Later on standing in a full fire gear at condtion Zebra through out the ship wondering to myself what was going on with my family.

After spending time thinking about this I have come to the realization, that I was just part of a greater family tradition that always seems to place us there when the order comes down to stand up with the rest of the fortress defenders to the barbarians at the gate.

There were a few that I wish I could of known them more then just a few meetings as a little kid at the holidays. I know that they are watching over me from whever they are now.
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