Lately, I have spent more time than normal, looking back at all that I have seen in my life. Lately, I have seen new things that I never expected, for instance, last weekend, on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I paid more to fill up my Subaru Forrester than I did for my first car! Never thought I would see that! That brought me to an event that was one of those "Surprise" moments that I never forgot.
Not long after I retired from the Navy, a friend of mine retired and invited me to his ceremony. It was a warm day, and the event was outside at a Special Boat Unit. The stage was all set up, a MK III Boat was on skids behind the stage as a back drop. There were Admiral, Captains, two former Master Chief Petty Officers of the Navy, a retired Fleet Master Chief and myself. We were seated in the front row, the MCPONs, Fleet Master Chief, and myself. I was seated next to MCPON 3. Seated on the stage was the Admiral, the Commanding Officer of the Spec Boat Unit, the unit's Command Master Chief, the Chaplain, and the honoree and his wife of over 30 years. The official part of the ceremony went off without a hitch. Everything from the parading of the Colors, the invocation, the Admirals remarks, the Award presentation, and the presentation of the gifts, all happened as rehearsed. Then it was time for the Master Chief who was retiring to make his remarks. He stepped to the podium and said; "Before I speak I would like to share a surprise with you and introduce all of you to my 16 year old son who I just met this morning!" Naturally, the crowd was stunned. I leaned over to MCPON 3 and whispered; "I can die now, I have seen everything." But the real surprise was that the honoree could still stand, talk, or even move. As a matter of fact, his wife kept her smile all through the ceremony. Now that IS AMAZING!