Posted on 01-06-2012
A couple of weeks ago I was reconnected with a shipmate of mine that served with me onboard the USS Fletcher. We hadn't spoke to each other in over twenty years but within a few minutes we were talking to each other like 2 old sailors! It brought back a lot of memories that I had forgotten about. We reminisced about all of the great ports we visited throughout the years. We talked about friends and where they are in their lives now and I even discovered that I lossed a few friends.
At the time, joining the Navy, was to chase a dream of becoming a SEAL. I had no idea what was involved just to get accepted into BUDs training. I was a Shipboard Firefighter (Hull Tech) in the Navy. We were in charge of the ship's Damage Control readiness. We worked very hard to ensure fire safety of the ship and if there was a fire, we put it out!
I have a tremendous amount of respect for all firefighters but what made our job a little different was if we lost control of a fire, out home sank to the bottom of the sea. Fortunately, that never happened. But what I did learn was teamwork. If an engine room catches fire, and a team goes in you must operate as a team or you die. We had to operate as one. We trusted each other as if family. We built the kind of bond that even twenty years didn't weaken. I have been out of the Navy now for twenty years (as of April 28th) and I still miss it! Honestly, I got out of the Navy to go to college, get a degree and return as an officer.
I had no idea the direction my life would take me. I have an awesome wife, 2 beautiful kids and am blessed with an opportunity to change lives with chiropractic. I have had many military as patients over the years and we have always shared a few stories with one another. I've been asked many times if I would do it again and my response is always "ABSOLUTELY"! The time I spent in the Military has given me the tools to succeed in business and life. I am very proud of the fact that I am a veteran. My son has recently shown interest in being a soldier (he wants to have a grenade launcher), and asked if it would be ok. I simply said, "Son, you are going to be great at whatever you choose to do and I would be so proud to see you follow your Dad's footsteps! Just go to college first!"
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