The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with precious memories for me. It is the day I met my wife.  I asked her to marry me the next day.  This is our 39th Thanksgiving together!  I also have a precious memory of my Mom and Day.  I had just returned from a western Pacific/Viet Nam cruise.  My wife and I were newly weds, my parents came to see us in San Diego, and I had duty on the ship on Thanksgiving day.  I suggested that my Mom, Dad, and Wife, come on board for dinner.  Then I though again, worrying that my Mom, who had cancer surgery a few years before and was not a nimble as she once was, would have troubles with the ladders on the ship.  No, said, absolutely not, she was going to eat Thanksgiving dinner on the USS Stein if I had to lower her to the mess decks with a rope!  As it turned out, she did great with the steep ladders.  As chow was served and we proceeded through the chow line, I can still hear Mom say; "Look Addison, they have real turkey!"  That was a precious, wonderful, day that will live in my memory forever.

Another Thanksgiving memory occurred after my Mom had passed away.  My Dad came to San Diego to visit, and I was again on the USS Stein.  My second tour on her.  I had duty the day after Thanksgiving, and I had just made Chief the preceding September.  I asked the Ship's Executive Officer if my Dad could spend the day on board with me.  He agreed, so Dad stood duty with me.  Of course, I had duties to attend to, so, I would leave Dad in the Chief's Mess, and go do my job.  I would hurry back to the Mess only to find my Dad off touring a different part of the ship with one of the Chief's.  They all adopted my Dad for the day.  He received in depth tours of the entire ship, including the engineering spaces.  He was amazed!  He went to sleep that nigh in the Command Master Chief's bunk and slept all night.  I had the Mid Watch on the Quarterdeck, while he slept.  Dad and I had a wonderful day together.  I miss Mom and Dad terribly, but their memories are still strong.  Happy Thanksgiving.

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