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SteelShooter
05-29-2007, 07:58 PM
My Friends,

1) I have been away for a while due to duty and a mixture of military and family obligations.............I am glad to be back here.

2) The main reason for this post: I read this little story below recently. It just happened to come at a time when I was deliberating whether to retire out of the U.S. Navy or not (I hit my 20yr mark this past January 15th).

This was a significant sign for me.

Come this Thursday at 1000 (Central Time), I will be signing on for 3 more years in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club.

Below is the story that had an impact on how I view my current profession. It was written by a Navy Chief (E-7 for those of you in the other Services). I am a Navy Chief myself, so it meant even a little more to me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I PUT ON MY UNIFORM TODAY!

A Navy Chief sat behind his desk, just down the hall from his Commander's
office. As the Chief started on a second cup of coffee and finished the
last of the morning messages, the commander stepped into the office.
"Chief," the Captain said, "I hate to ask you this, but you are needed
in Southwest Asia in six days for a 90-day rotation. Can you go?" With
no voiced emotion and without looking up, the Chief replied, "Ma'am, I
put on my uniform this morning."

The Captain, somewhat taken a-back, thought to herself, "The Chief
doesn't usually talk in riddles. Has this veteran of 20 years gone off
of the deep end?" The wise old protector of the enlisted corps smiled
and began to explain. "Ma'am, I made a promise to myself more than 20
years ago, that I would only put this uniform on as long as I'm
available for duty. You see, while it is obvious to most Navy members,
it seems to completely escape others. 'Available for duty' means more
than the desire to negotiate and select the premium assignments. It
requires us to go any place in the world the president or officers
appointed over us determines, at any given time. This doesn't mean we
shouldn't want or receive our preferences. It does mean we'll go when
and where we are needed and called. Now this may seem overly
simplistic,
but, I think everyone can agree: when it comes to defining service to
our country, the answer is just that simple. In today's world of 'What
can you do for me?' it's very easy to lose sight of what 'service to
country' is all about. Service goes far beyond the individual; it
affects the well-being of our nation. Sitting in comfortable
surroundings, at your dream base in CONUS, it's easy to forget the
sacrifices we agreed to endure in service to our country. Sitting in
Saudi, Iraq, Bosnia, Japan or maybe Korea, the sacrifices become much
clearer. The bottom line today is that we are an all-volunteer force,
and though our force has been reduced by 30 percent in the last five
years, it remains a highly mobilized, continually-tasked 'corporation.'
Everyone is vital to its continued success."

The Chief continued by saying, "The Navy will go on tomorrow with or
without any single one of us; however, the efficiency of any one of its
specific units may be adversely effected by the loss of only a few.
All
of us have the responsibility to report our availability for duty. If
someone has a family problem or special circumstances that precludes
them from being available, they need to report it immediately and
especially prior to being deployed. If any member does not deploy when
called upon, another member must fill that slot. So, any time someone
cannot or will not deploy, the ripple effect is felt throughout the
Navy. Everyone's family would like them to be home for the holidays. I
can't think of a single person who would intentionally miss their
child's graduation. And we're all aware of the pain of losing a loved
one and know how the grief can be compounded by not being at their side
in the final moments. Yes, we are all continually asked to make
sacrifices. Yet some seem to forget that we are serving our nation, and
that we are all volunteers. Who said it was going to be easy? The
leadership of our country depends upon us for being good and true to
our
word. Every day, each of us needs to look into the mirror before
getting
into uniform and ask, 'Am I available for duty?' If the answer is "No,"
then we need to notify our supervisor, Division chief, or commander
immediately! Then the next step is to determine if the non-availability
is temporary or permanent. Then the toughest question must be
asked--should that person resign, separate, or retire? There are no
gray
areas. Everyone must decide for themselves."

Finally the Chief looked at his commander, and said, "Ma'am, as I said
earlier, I put on my uniform today, and I'm available for duty. Do you
still need a 'yes' or 'no' answer to your question?"

Livinginthe past
05-29-2007, 08:24 PM
Welcome back, Shooter!

Let me the first glad you returned in good health and good spirit. :cheers:

Nothing but respect for you guys and the job you do (hell, some of it even looks like fun! :wink02:)

See you around.

Nigel

HeyNav
05-29-2007, 08:38 PM
Chief,
I salute you.

You choose to continue service, then you make the right choice. Like when asked my advice one day by a younger man whether I thought it would be wise for him to marry, I told him not to listen to me or anyone else, listen to his heart and whatever his heart said. he should do. I'm confident you've done the same. Navy, an honorable profession.

Good Luck Chief and be safe.
HeyNav

SteelCityMan786
05-29-2007, 08:56 PM
Good to see you back man. Hope they're a safe 3 years.

PisnNapalm
05-29-2007, 08:57 PM
Steelshooter,

Thank you for protecting my family, friends, and country. You are most definitely appreciated.

http://www.bomberboys.com/Smilies/urock.gif

SteelShooter
05-29-2007, 09:25 PM
Hey there,

The thanks do not go out to me. They go to all of those 18 and 21 yr olds that plunder into the abyss.
Those young men and women, oh man............I really can't put into words how these innocent "kids" do such heroic and wonderful things each and every day.
I'm just the crusty old Chief that "occasionally aligns their perspective and priorities."

I wasn't looking for appreciations (but I am thankful for them), I just wished to share something with friends that had a profound effect on one old Sailor.

HometownGal
05-29-2007, 09:29 PM
Welcome back Shooter - it's good to see you back around these parts! :cheers:

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story - it brought tears to my eyes. :hug:

Please be safe and you betcha we'll be praying for your safety and good health my friend! Thank you for everything you and your comrades have done and are doing to keep us all safe and secure! :cheers:

GBMelBlount
05-29-2007, 09:37 PM
Steelshooter,

Thank you for protecting my family, friends, and country. You are most definitely appreciated.

http://www.bomberboys.com/Smilies/urock.gif

Agreed, those of us safe & happy at home have no idea what those in the service of our country do, especially those who put their lives on the line for us everyday! Bless you Steelshooter!

GB

stlrtruck
05-30-2007, 07:47 AM
Steel Shooter may God bless you as you continue to provide protection for this country and for other countries. Protecting individuals who curse your name because you serve in the military, for protecting foreigners who curse your name because you are an American.

I thank you for the courage it takes to stand up and say, "Today, I put on my uniform!"

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-30-2007, 07:57 AM
SteelShooter

What you wrote is moving beyond what I can tell you...thank you my "Brother":usa::salute::usa:

MasterOfPuppets
05-30-2007, 05:43 PM
don't sell your self short you old squid! 20 yrs is nothin to sneeze at. you should be as proud of yourself as we are of you, and accept the thank you's and praise shed upon you because it's deserved. and by the way....thanks for the next 3......:thumbsup:

Stlrs4Life
05-30-2007, 09:45 PM
Welcome back Steel shooter, and congrats on another 3 years!

floodcitygirl
05-30-2007, 10:57 PM
Congrats on your decision Shooter. God's blessings to you and your family.

SteelShooter
06-02-2007, 11:23 AM
Thank You all.................truly.


Update: The ceremony went very well. I launched early Thursday morning so I could do a few dry runs to insure the timing was down pat. We began downriver on our run, coming to full speed prior to and steadying on course after making the final bend. We came within yards of the quay wall (12ft above the water, where most observers were) so others could see. I wanted the oath to finish up just as we passed the quay (but not too much past, since the water ends not too far from there).
And, to be honest, wished a few minutes on the water just to bore downstream, feeling the morning air rush by and seeing the local alligators cruising for breakfast.
After the oath was administered we disembarked from the RHIB and I read these same words (the poem) to my young Troops.

The timing was perfect; weather was complacent, the winds near calm, the water smooth as glass.......King Neptunis Rex provided yet another glorious day underway.

Pics are inbound, will post a couple soon.

Elvis
06-03-2007, 07:13 AM
God bless you brother and your family as well. We all appreciate all that our Armed Forces do for us. You guys/gals are very special people that do what you do. Not everyone could do what you do and I for one love each and everyone of you. I pray that God will give you a safe return and all that you need in your life.
God Bless You In Many Ways To Come...
Elvis
:thumbsup:

Hines0wnz
11-11-2007, 11:26 PM
Hey there,

The thanks do not go out to me. They go to all of those 18 and 21 yr olds that plunder into the abyss.
Those young men and women, oh man............I really can't put into words how these innocent "kids" do such heroic and wonderful things each and every day.
I'm just the crusty old Chief that "occasionally aligns their perspective and priorities."

I wasn't looking for appreciations (but I am thankful for them), I just wished to share something with friends that had a profound effect on one old Sailor.

But still, good luck to ya old salt! :flap:


I'm a former E-5 myself.