Tuesday, April 23, 2019

#AtoZChallenge - US Navy

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

I will never forget the 8 years I spent in the Navy.  Fun fact - most people that I know (me included) feel uncomfortable and don't know what to say when thanked for their service.  Usually I say thanks, but other times I'll say it was an honor and an adventure.  And it was. 

My 2015 A-Z Challenge theme was 26+ sea stories about my time as a US sailor.  That was a fun trip down memory lane, that I also touched on for my "I" post this year. 

So I dug thru my folders here on the computer and found some scans of old photos that are perfect for this letter. 
USS Canopus AS-34 
my first ship from September 1992 - November 1994
This is the saddest video I've ever watched - the Canopus being scrapped in I believe 2000.
May 1994 in Nassau, Bahamas
being dwarfed by that Carnival ship!
May - July 1994 in Norfolk, VA
This photo needed to come back out - my sisters from other misters. 
I'll never have another friendship like I do with them. 
We got split up after the Canopus was decommissioned and when we finally got back to together 23 years later, it was like we'd never been apart.  I wish we all lived closer - I'm in Michigan, Laura's in Ohio and Gin's in Texas.  
Baby Me & Laura at the decommissioning ceremony.
My second ship - USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72
December 1994 - April 1997

There are so many stories & memories about my time on the Lincoln.  It was such an amazing experience being among the first females stationed on board an aircraft carrier.  
You can barely make out the Lincoln in Hong Kong harbor. 
Cables cars to Sentosa Island in Singapore. 
One of the many Sentosa dragons. 
The view of Jebal Ali. 
Hard Rock Cafe in Bahrain.  Apparently it's not there anymore since I just looked online to see if I could get a shot glass like I have from all the others I've been to - and nothing turned up in the search. 
Uniform of the Day for my Shellback Initiation was inside out & backwards.
At the end of West Pac '95 (around the western Pacific), we had a Tiger Cruise.  So my parents flew out to Hawaii and got to spend 5 days on the Lincoln as we came back to Alameda, CA.  
I'm so grateful I got to give them that trip, since they talked about it for years.  Mom still mentions it. 
 The first time I realized I look like Mom. 
I got to fly on one of these monsters from the ship into Bahrain.
CH-53E.  It can easily carry 30 troops and a lot of cargo.   

I spent a total of 6 weeks in Bahrain, loading and unloading mail for the ships out in the Gulf.
The first time I was there for a month, then the guy who relived me had to return to take the September advancement exam so I was sent back.  I won't get into exhaustive details, but once you advance a paygrade, you have to spend a certain amount of time there before and I'd just advanced the prior March so wasn't eligible to take the next exam yet.
One of my trips to and from the Lincoln was by C2 Cod. 
Launching & recovering was the coolest, yet scariest, thing ever!
Imagine sitting there - facing backwards - and being sent from 0 to 140 knots per hour in like 300 feet and on the flip side - stopping the same way.  
The night before I left to go to Diego Garcia, I helped celebrate with a bunch of Marines who had just come in from deployment and were heading back to the States.  I was still feeling no pain the next morning - in fact was laying on a bench in the locker room with one foot on the floor so I didn't fall off the earth - until I had to board this fine specimen of military aviation.   

I thought I was going to die. 

We flew from Bahrian into Fujairah International Airport - which meant skimming mountains & dropping down to the airstrip.  I know the high ranking Army brass who was sitting in font of me (I was last to board so I was sitting in a sideways jump seat with the one crew member) was happy that I didn't ralph because he was in my line of fire. 
 From Fujairah to Diego Garcia (good luck finding that tiny island in the Indian Ocean on a map without using a search bar!)  I flew in something slightly bigger.  Me & another guy were the only passengers, so we sat with the crew.  There's not a lot of seats on a cargo plane!
F-14s were may favorite planes on the Lincoln.  
Just super cool.
  Me in my dress blues about 6 moths before I got out. 
(Ignore the fact this photo is actually the very shiny & new USS Gerald Ford CVN-78)
In March 1996, I got to re-enlist between the rudders of the Lincoln.  
Simply awesome. 

 photo http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-124-9BF74C716651145ECAC7EDD1AB729D6B_zpsxkuumtdq.png


  1. Wonderful pictures and memories you have. My husband goes out of his way to shake the hand and thank every service person he meets. His father, stepdad and a lot of the members of his family were in the service. We thank you for your service!

    Janet’s Smiles


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