11 September 2007

Seems like only yesterday part 3

As the days progressed following the 11th and 12th we were all glued to the TV's. In my shop we quit watching the all news channel. I think the biggest reason was that a number of us felt burned out from watching the planes hitting again and again. Watching the people run from the towers, and watching people fall, and finally watching all the missing reports. It just was depressing at times. At various times for the next few weeks we would catch the news at shift changes. It was depressing at times to see how the United States main stream media reacted following the President's address to Congress. As we would watch the news, they had reports of how people believed that this attack was an inside job. There was reports from various colleges and town halls that showed some people supporting the build up and the possibility of going to Afghanistan. The rest of the reports were of people protesting and claiming that we deserved to lose over 3000 people. It was sad to see some of those reports.

Even worst was listening to all the different talking heads that were ex-military members claiming how the US was just going to have their butts handed to them. It was going to be a repeat of Vietnam for the pilots and the ground troopers were going to face the same sort of fighting that defeated the Soviets.

We watched the news of the American Red Cross and United Way charities failures on the news. The failures of various other charities in helping those who were injured or were harmed.

We watched one night talk about the Anthrax attacks. That night watching the Postal Clerks on the ship take bags of "To Any Servicemen" letters to the ship's incinerator and they dumped everything including the bags that they keep the letters in were shoved into the incinerators.

That was the worst of it all. The ship tried very hard to keep our minds away from all this news with movies. We watched "Top Gun", "Band of Brothers.", Chuck Norris in "Delta Force", "Red Dawn", "Animal House", "Midway", "Tora, Tora, Tora", "Armageddon". They also ran all sorts of comedies. There was also the race to the world series between the Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks to watch and when we could catch it the opening of both college and pro-football.

We also paid attention to the news as the build up began. One of the shops had a large world map and had converted it from a "Where we had been" tracker to one that showed where most of the forces were going to. At least from what we had heard on the news.

It went to working hard and watching movies that have a obvious pro-USA lean to them. Listening to the Skipper or the Admiral talk about we don't know when we will be home, but that we are doing important things out here. The skipper was big about bringing up previous Enterprise's experiences in combat. Till the day that we heard all four catapults fire off with in rapid succession with each other and then do it again 30 seconds later. The skipper came on and announced that the first strikes to head down town left the deck and were on the way to their targets in Afghanistan. There just seemed to be a big cheer come from the entire ship.

We proceeded to fly strikes into Afghanistan until we were relieved on station by the USS Roosevelt and we arrived back in Norfolk on Veterans day.

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