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

Saturday, November 28, 2015

What I miss the most

It is the Christmas season.  A part of the year that makes me more melancholy that happy.  Actually, I find Christmas and New Years depressing beyond description.  And the older I get, the worse it gets.

Christmas makes me think about my past.  My few successes and my many failures.  I think of old friends and Shipmates, most of whom are now dead.  Those thoughts bring back good and bad times.  But they were good times with friends that I depended on and them on me.  Those were great times that warm my soul.

I miss being a Chief.  The times in the Chief's Mess.  The fellowship, friendship, working together towards a common goal, and blowing off steam doing less than smart things!!  It was fun!!  Or at least, it was then.

I miss being dependent on fellow professionals and them being dependent on me.   I even miss the arguments that arose in the Chief's Mess about the most ridicules things.  I just miss being a Navy Chief.

I never really fit in the civilian world.  I tried it and I did not like it.  So, I went to work for the Navy as a Civil Servant.   There, I could use what I learned to serve the Navy I loved.

I screwed up when I retired from the Navy.  I got caught up in my own self-importance.  The most stupid decision I ever made was becoming a Command Master Chief and then a Force Master Chief.  It was not a fit for my personality, my career goals, or my happiness.  I remember looking in the mirror, when I was the CMC on the USS Caron, and NOT recognizing myself!!  I should have went back to being a Gunner's Mate then.  I remember the Bible verse that says;  "Pride goeth before a fall."  It certainly did.

Now, I am a broken, bitter, depressed, old man, without anything of value to do, nothing to offer, and no way to change my lot in life.  I dream about the Navy.  Every facet of the Navy life.  Sometimes I escape to my Navy life in my mind during the day.  

I live in a wonderful Continuing Care Retirement Community filled with rich, landed gentry.  There are a few successful retired Navy folks here.  They try to act like like they are something else.  Folks like me call that "Uppity"!  I act like a Retired Navy Master Chief.  Hey, it works for me.

I never thought I would live this long.  I never thought I would have Lewy Body Dementia, and I never thought I would end up like this.  I failed myself!!  Yes, I succeeded, but that success did not serve me well.  I would give everything up that I have to be a Chief Gunner's Mate on a MK 42 equipped Destroyer type Navy ship, sailing in harm's way.  Instead, I am here.

I guess I miss my life the most.  That about says it all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Who are we at war with?!

The majority of my Navy career, the Soviets were the enemy we prepared for.  Every training operation was directed at Soviet forces.  The fighter pilots even had an aggressor squadron that used Israeli Kaffir Jets because they looked like Mig 23 jets!  But now, our leaders will not tell us who we are supposed to prepare to fight.

The President and most of the democrats say we are at war against Radical Islam.  OK, who is that?  

Here is my take:  Every thing that is wrong in the world, every terrorist attack, every war worldwide, was started by those of the Islam faith.  Now, if the politicians say it is only Radical Islam that we are at war with, where are the Moderate Muslims? 

Not ONCE has any Muslim group, religious leader, or politician came out and protested an attack on civilians.   No Islamic group has ever joined us to fight the so called radical muslims.  And yes, I know we fought with Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But they turned on American's and killed them many times.  So, the truth is, they use us when they want to and kill us when they don't!

My bottom line is, we are at war with ISLAM !  There are no moderate Muslims!  All of them are taught from the same religious book and it calls for the death of anyone that will not convert!  How moderate doe that sound.

Either we declare war on Islam, worldwide, or we allow our nation to be overtaken by the invading hoards of muslims.  It is that simple.  The most frustrating part is, I cannot make America decide.

So, here I sit, frustrated and useless.

Friday, November 20, 2015


I live in Florida, where cockroaches are a normal part of life.  In South Carolina, they have a nice name for them, Palmetto Bugs!!  And they call South Carolina the Palmetto State!  Nice!!!

We have cockroaches on Navy ships and in the ports we visit.  We were in Columbo, Sri Lanka when I was on the USS Stein, (FF 1065). There were cockroaches there that made the ones in America look like babies!

In Columbo, the cockroaches were trying to move aboard the ship.  They would crawl over the rat guards on the mooring lines!  So, Doc Wolf sprayed some concoction on the mooring lines that was very effective keeping them from crawling on the lines.  So, then they decided to JUMP from the pier to the ship.  You have to give them credit, they were determined.  You could actually hear them hitting the deck from below deck!!  Now that is a solid, heavy, cockroach.

After we got underway, Doc made us drag the mooring lines in the ocean.  He them made us wash our hands with that green "Medical" soap!  It just have been pretty toxic for all that precautions!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Innocent casualties of war?

Innocent casualties of war.  I hear that all the time when we discuss the Middle East.  Well, I beg to differ with anyone who claims there are innocent people in those countries controlled by and radical faction.  How can I say that?  Easy.  If you do not like or support the people running your neighborhood, city, state, or country, get rid of them!

Since those countries in the Middle East an uncivilized anyway, violence is the only way to change the political climate.  So, band together, and overwhelm the bad guys.  If you just let evil continue, you are then part of the problem through your inception, and therefore are not an innocent casualty of war! 

Sometimes, decent people must how off the chains of oppression through violent means.  That is what I expect of the so called moderate Muslims in the Middle East.  But, the fact is, it seldom ever happens.  Yes, the Kurds are doing all they can to eliminate ISIS and the other radical idiots.  But, they are the only group brave enough and with enough resolve to stand up and fight the oppressors.

Another fact is, these Islamic radicals only understand one thing and that is totally overwhelming, brute force.  If we ever intend to end this war, that is how we must act.  Not with troops, but with large weapons of mass destruction, delivered without mercy until every person who supports or allows this Islamic disease fester is dead!

Look, we have lost many modern wars trying to be nice, fair, humanitarian, and concerned for the well being of the so called civilian population.  And many American fighting men died because of it.  Just look at the history of the Korean and Vietnam wars.  No, the time to be nice is over.  Now, for the sake of our Republic, we need to bomb them into the stone age!  Islam must be killed off and buried, once and for all.  They will never leave us alone, never agree to peace, and never quit killing Christians and Jews until either they or us are annihilated.  So, we have a choice, either we die or they die.  Your choice America! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Attack on Paris!

Cowards attack in secret, when innocent, unarmed, people are relaxed, have their backs turned, and without announcement.  I guess that is one way to piss off an entire pacifist Nation.  It does seem to have worked!

The death toll is still a moving target, but 120+ killed and 380+ injured is a big toll.  But more people are killed in Typhoons and Hurricanes every year and no one gets all that upset.  But, a sneak attack of terrorists gets the Worlds attention!

The leader of the Cowards of Islam has said "the blood of Americans is the sweetest".  We should take that statement at face value.  The cowards Islam will attack us again.  So, we should be ready.  If you have a Concealed Carry Permit, the CARRY and be ready!  If you do not have a Concealed Carry Permit, get one!  We are at WAR with sneak attack cowards and the Police and Military cannot protect you from that threat.  Each of us has to be ready to defend ourselves!  Our Founding Fathers were very wise in writing that into our Constitution!  

Now, our Military can carry the WAR to the enemy in foreign lands and I hope the morons in Washington  figure that out soon.  But until we stop being politically correct and call the Muslim Religion our enemy, the defense of you is in YOUR HANDS! 

These times will test our metal!  But, we have been through this before and came out OK and maybe even stronger.  So, buck up Shipmate!!  Be bold in your actions.  Call the enemy by his name!  Islamic Cowards!!   And, if you are lucky enough to be involved in a Islamic Coward attack, and you are wise enough to be armed, then kill the bastards with extreme prejudice!!

To do less would be treason on our part!!  Fight, like you way of life depends on it, because it does!  Now, more than anytime in our history.  The enemy is coming to kill you, rape you wife and daughter, and then kill them.  Fight, Fight, Fight!!! Stand up, do not be subdued, defend God, Christianity, and America in everything you do and say!! I cannot say this loud enough!  Fight the bastards!  Kill the bastards!!  Or all we hold sacred will be destroyed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day 2015

I attended the Veteran's Day Ceremony at Azalea Trace today.  It was exceptionally well done and we paid tribute to the many World War II veterans that live here at Azalea Trace.  It was quite moving to see these "Heros", male and female, that live with us.  Men and Women that we eat meals with, shoot pool with, ride the bus with. They continue to show us the way!

During the ceremony, I began to think of Shipmates of mine who have died recently.  It seems the Veterans of my generation are dining prematurely.  Many of cancer, caused by the chemicals we were exposed to, without our knowledge, during our service.

Of the men I served with a BUPERS;  Harold Wheeler, Tim Melody, Vern VanMatre, Gene Veldhouse, are all gone.  Bill Mowery and Jim Smith, my mentors are gone.  Dave Kelly, the Hull Technician Chief on the USS Caron is gone.  Many more I cannot remember right now.  This hit me hard.

Yes, Veteran's Day is for the living Vets.  But, many lived through their service just to die from something that happened to them while in the service.  When do we honor them?

These days are always hard for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The telephone in the Chief's Mess rang, and then...

That dam phone was always ringing when I was on the USS Caron.  It always brought bad news, more work, news of a system failure, and any other type of bad news you can imagine.  One day, the telephone rang and I answered it.  It was Captain Jim Polk.  He asked me to come up to his At Sea Cabin.  When I got there, he gave me some good and interesting news.

I came aboard as the Leading Gunner's Mate.  I was advanced to Master Chief shortly after my arrival and assumed the duties as the Command Master Chief (CMC).  The Captain kept me in Gun Division as well as my CMC duties.   So, I was always busy, running from ordnance issues to personnel issues.  We had received a new Chief Gunner's Mate and I was pressuring the Captain to let me out of my Gun Division responsibility so I could pay full time attention to the entire crew.  His theory was, and I came to full sure with him, that the crew appreciated and respected the fact that I actually WORKED!  They say me running all over the ship, in oil and grease stained Khakis, sweating, tired, and overworked, just like them.  Captain James Polk was a VERY wise man and I learned MORE about Leadership from Him than any other person in my entire 40 years of Naval employment!

This day, Captain Polk had a trick up his sleeve!  He opened up with" Master Chief, I am going top relieve you of you Gun Division responsibilities."  I was very happy, for  moment.  Then he said; " I am going to assign you as the First Lieutenant."

I was in shock!  Not because I could not do the job, but because it came out of nowhere.  He went on to say, he was sending the present First Lieutenant to some schools and that the Chief Boatswain's Mate wanted to transfer.  I knew the BMC wanted to go to a Tug Boat assignment, so that was not a big surprise.  Then, Captain Polk gave me some more of his wisdom.  He said; "After all, 90% of you problems as CMC come from First Division!   Now you will be their leader!"  Boy was he right.

That six months as the First Lieutenant on the USS Caron (DD 970) was a very rewarding time.  I had always worked on replenishment rigs, was a line handler, and had been in charge of the Fantail for Sea Detail on a number of ships.  They say a Gunner's Mate is a Boatswain's Mate with a HUNTING License!  That is true, or at least it was.

My first day as the First Lieutenant was a Friday.  I told the Division at Quarters that we had to get everything complete, and Clamp Down and Sweepers held by noon to get Early Liberty.  They looked shocked!  Later the BM 1 told me: "Master Chief, don't tell them that and get their hopes up.  You know they will not get off early!"  The truth was, they were used and abused much of the time and it washy goal to stop that abuse,right then and there.

The went on Early Liberty, at  NOON that day!  That went a long way to helping me be accepted as their Leader as well as their CMC.  I also worked along side them as we prepared for deployment.  The harder I worked, the harder they worked.  I actually thought they were trying to out do me!!  And, they did most of the time.

I was proud and fulfilled to be the USS Caron's First Lieutenant for six months!  The men of First Division taught me many professional things and even more Leadership values.  And that time taught me just how brilliant Captain Jim Polk was!

Thanks to the men of First Division and Captain Jim Polk!

Another individual that helped me succeed

I had many Shipmates that helped me, mentored me, taught me, to be a good Gunner's Mate, Chief, and man.  I have written about many of them, but my memory is not perfect and I have left out one very important man.  His name is Senior Chief Gunner's Mate Horrace Benford.

Benford was an exceptional Leader.  He emanated confidence, strength, authority, and professionalism.

Now, those of you who may remember Benford will know he had the body of a body builder.  Even his head had muscles!  He had a deep, bellowing voice! and he had a shaved head many decades before it was in style.  Before had a demeanor that frightened many that did not know or understand him.  He believed in "The Navy Way" and made sure that was the way things were done when He was around.

Benford befriended me when I was a young GMG3 and he was a GMG1.  I respected Benford and listened to him intently.  He seldom spoke, so if Benford was speaking, you knew automatically, he was saying something important and of value!

We lost contact as we were both transferred to different ships, coasts, and duty stations.  I later ran into him when he was a Senior Chief and I was a Chief.  He smiled at me with satisfaction.  He told me he had always kept track of me.  That was reassuring.

Horrace Benford came back into my memory today as I talked with my best friend, Jerry Hart.  I wonder where he is now.  Wherever that is, I know he is still quietly making people better!

I miss you Senior Chief Benford!!  Thanks for your friendship.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Women in the Navy,

Back in 1980 - 1983, I was the GMG Detailer.  We had about 45 female Gunner's Mate (Guns) in the Community and even though they could not go to sea, except on Tenders, at that time, they served a very important function as well as blazing the path for those who came after them.  If my memory serves me right, and I am will ing to be corrected on this, one of those Trail Blazers made Chief and was the first female GMGC.  I believe her Surname was Brewer.

In any case, The Female GM's were assigned to some of the overseas Magazines.  One was in Japan.  I visited that facility on a WestPac Detailers Trip and was told this story;

Many of the Japanese Nationals that worked for the U.S. Navy in this magazine had NEVER seen a Female Sailor.  This young, petite, Female GMG3 was determined to break into the culture and become accepted by everyone that worked there.  The Lead Japanese National, sort of a Foreman, would lightly rub her Dungaree shirt in the area of her breasts and giggle and chatter in Japanese.  She took the Hazing in stride, waiting her turn.  One day, that Japanese Foreman was bent over, picking up some wood used to secure ammunition in railroad cars.  This wood was called dunnage.  IN any case, she silently inched up behind him and GOOSED Him, right between the legs!!  He did a complete flip, and landed on his back!  All the Japanese workers were SHOCKED and said nothing!!   Then, when the Japanese Foreman saw who goosed him, started to uncontrollably laugh!!  Then everyone laughed and she was part of the  team, never to be hazed again.

Is this sort of behavior correct, acceptable, or recommended.  Absolutely NOT!  It should not have happened then and certainly should not happen now.  But, it shows the lengths these Trail Blazers had to go to to be accepted as members of a team and as equals.  I appreciate her for that.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The 1000 ship Navy!!

When I joined the United States Navy in 1969, we had a Navy of over 1000 Ships, Submarines, and Aircraft Carriers.  We had Nuclear and Diesel Submarines. Battleships, a plethora of Destroyer type combatants, and Gun and Missile Cruisers.  Now, we have less than 110 actual blue water combatant ships in the Navy!

Since then, we have systematically destroyed the United States Sea Superiority until now, we are second or third fiddle to Russia, Red China, and North Korea!  We are being challenged everywhere in the world's oceans.  Hell, Red China built their own islands, then declared them sovereign soil and keep our ships out of their territory!!  Iran is sending Battle Groups to the Med and delivering weapons to our enemies!!  North Korea is operating submarines in the Gulf of Mexico!!

Today, there was another article on Drudge, telling us our Navy is seriously undermanned, too small, and not capable of sustaining it's mission.

Those of you who disagree with me need to do some actual, factual, research.  We are in DEEP trouble and in my estimation, are already defeated at sea.  Trust me, I take no happiness in that statement.  When I bleed, I bleed Navy Blue and Gold!  But, the politicians in $5000 suits and in Uniform, have lead us to defeat before the first round is fired!!

If you care, you can do something about this.  Call, write, email, your Congressman and Senator and maybe, they will try to do something.  But frankly, I doubt it.

You cannot say I have not told you, time and time again!!