Tuesday, April 24, 2012


U is for.....the US Navy!

I enlisted in the Navy while still in high school.  I'd applied to and been accepted to a college in Ohio (for equestrian studies!) and thought I was happy with that.  One day I was walking thru the hallway at school and a Navy recruiter was standing outside the counseling office, minding his own business.  I recall doing one of those things where my head kept turning as I walked by slower and slower.  I sure don't remember what I said to him, but I know it had to have been the easiest sell in the history of recruiting. My parents were surprised, but supportive.

After some time in the Delayed Entry Program (I was both 17 and still in school when I signed up) and a couple other delays, I finally shipped out in March 1992.  First I went to bootcamp in Orlando (which has since been closed) and then to school in the Naval Technical Training Center, Corry Station in Pensacola (which I dropped out of because electronic savvy apparently is NOT genetic!) then went to my first ship at the Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA. 

 USS Canopus (AS-34)
submarine tenders provide maintenance and logistical support to nuclear powered submarines.

I got there in September 1992 and stayed until it was decommissioned in November 1994. We didn't go out to sea much.  However we did make a weekend trip to the Bahamas on the way from Georgia to Virginia.  We had the greatest captain!  I started out in deck department with my trusty paintbrush and then worked my way into the post office.

My next command was slightly bigger.

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)

Random trivia...an aircraft carrier will never deploy alone. 
They are the central part of a battle group consisting of destroyers, cruisers, frigates and subs.

I actually loved the Lincoln.  I could tell stories all day about things that happened during my time there and places I visited like Hong Kong, Singapore, Jebal Ali, Bahrain, Diego Garcia etc.

Some of the more notable events...

dropping anchor in the middle of the America's Cup
I remember standing on deck with everyone else,
wondering why the heck these sailboats were so close!
There was extremely heavy fog, though.  And fiberglass doesn't get picked up on radar.

Crash at sea with the USS Sacramento (the Scrapmetal - LOL!) 
during refueling.

Re-enlisting between the rudders while in drydock. 
(sorry, no photos were taken!)

My required time at sea was up in September 1997, but I got to transfer to shore duty a couple months early due to the impending arrival of...
Miss Angela!

I spent the rest of my time in the Navy at Naval Station Everett, WA.  With the exception of duty days, it was like a regular job, with the base daycare a 5 minute walk away!

I did some cool stuff there, too.  The security detachment discovered I liked to help with training scenarios, so I was their "go-to" girl for outside help.  I got to be "shot" in the mailroom during a "hostile situation" and lay on the floor covered in fake blood & screaming.  Note - the personnel & legal offices on either side of the mailroom did NOTHING!!!  I also assisted in a domestic violence training bit with security and a mock DUI crash in conjunction with the Everett police. It was fun!

Anyway, I got out in 2000.  After Angel was born, I had a hard time with my physical readiness.  I couldn't breathe when I ran which made for some really slow times = bad.  Since I couldn't pass the PRT, I was not able to get stationed overseas (guess if you can't outrun the Italian natives, you can't be stationed in Signonella!), I was not able to take the next advancement exam and I was not able to re-enlist.  I was also going thru a divorce, so I took my honorable discharge and came home.

I don't regret a single minute of those 8 years and wish I would have put more "umph" into making it a career.  But if I did my life would be a lot different and I would be probably be retired with 20 years now. But I didn't and I also wouldn't change that for anything!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a note - they make me feel loved!