Back Out There
By Garland Davis
Running around in these new civilian clothes
Uncomfortable to say the least
Running out of patience, rather I was wearing dungarees
In my dreams I watch them steaming past
Numbers on their bows their identify
I can wish one would slow and take me aboard
Cause in this life ashore only the cars pass
The day is done, would that I could hear “Sweepers”
Meanwhile at sea
Darken ship, red lights are on, the movie soon
Supper is finished; mess deck secured
I see, Sun sinking out low over the bow
Playing games in the Mess and smoking cigarettes
Whiskey waits in another port
Funny the things you thought you’d never miss
In this strange, crazy civilian world
I miss the dolphin escort at the bow
I miss the rush of the flying fish as they flee
I miss being somebody everyone knows there
Everybody knows each other
I miss those Tin Can days
Walking the decks and passageways
The sound of the sonar’s song
Oh, I wish I could go back
Well, I found a girl out there; but we don’t fit in here
It seems so hard to breathe in this civilian world
I need to be where I can see that great Western Ocean
One of these days I’ll pack up and take her back out there
Navy, my world for so many years
Why did it have to end so soon
7 thoughts on “Back Out There”
79 years old now and I still miss it.
72 years old and I dream of those times weekly. Really miss all and yes everyone knew all aboard. Worked down below and loved every minute of it. There were good times and bad times, but the good out weighed the bad. Miss going top side, when I got the chance.
I think/know that the readers of your missives feel the same Garland. Oh yes, such great times we had on the rolling and tossing waves. I miss the smells, the sounds, the wonderful sunsets, and yes even the heavy seas. It was grand my friends!
73 and to this day remember reporting on board the USS Gearing DD -710 Dec. 63. Being a young recruit was assigned to the deck force. Up at 0400 and out on deck holding morning watch. In port painting the ship and standing quarter deck watch. At standing bridge watch and doing what deck work needed to be done. Went from deck to the galley and cooked for the enlisted until 1966. The experience of life on that Tin Can was hard, but it taught me how to endure and make something of myself. Retired in 1983 after serving on 3 more surface ships and 3 submarines.
I retired 33 years ago today, yet it seems like I can remember everyday of my career with crystal clarity. I would happily relive that life in a heartbeat if I could do it all over again. From reporting to the Naval Training Center right out of high school, to making Chief, to retiring after 22+ years, and everything in between those milestones, I consider myself lucky to have had the privilege and to have shared my career with people who are still “shipmates” today.
I would do the same because it’s an experience like no other. Like you said about remembering every moment it’s true. From basic training in 63 and everthing else in between before retiring in 83