Say Goodbye to Sailor Man
By Jack Summer
It was 25 years ago on 31 Oct 1995, that one chapter in my life ended and I moved on to the next one. I retired from the UNITED STATES NAVY.
The ship that I was on left for the east coast to be decommissioned. If I hadn’t already been through the Panama Canal once before I would have stuck around but I put my papers in. It was time to go. So I was transferred to Naval Station San Diego for a little less than two months. There I had to call in a couple of times a week from home and showed up only once in uniform to let them know that I was still alive. It was some tough duty.
On my last day I just had to go to the personnel office on base to sign some paperwork and get a copy of my service and medical records and then I drove home. When I got home I just didn’t want to take that uniform off so I passed out Halloween candy to the neighborhood kids still wearing it. I still have it hanging up in bedroom closet where it hasn’t been worn since. I’m sometimes tempted for sentimental reasons to try it on but I’m sure that it has shrunk over the years, but the hat still fits though.
Do I miss being in the Navy? Yes and No. I don’t miss the BS but the same can be said about everywhere you go in life. The one thing I do miss is the people. From the camaraderie that was developed while on a ship that was rocking and rolling during heavy seas to all of the foreign ports that we hit on the way (I’ll just leave that one to your imagination) it can be a tight knit family.
I haven’t been getting much trick or treaters these last few years though. The neighbors kids have all grown up and moved on and my house is in a not so target rich environment. Who the hell would want to walk to my house up in the hills to get a couple of Kit Kat or Snickers bars, I know as an ex-kid I wouldn’t!!!
But I will be ready for them if they do show up. The wife has bought a big bag of candy and it’s ready to go in a plastic jack-o-lantern that we got years ago. She has even given me a warning (as she does every year) not to touch it and that it’s for the kids. HA!
So from this Sailor Man I wish you all a HAPPY HALLOWEEN and don’t eat all of the candy, save some of it for the day after.
2 thoughts on “Say Goodbye to Sailor Man”
Hi Jack, I served for 8 years, spent half of that time in Westpac and the rest on the East Coast on an old Destroyer Tender, but I got a trip to the Med on the old girl with the transfer East. Like you I also still have my dress blues. I usually march with the American Legion Post in my dress blues on Memorial Day. The pants have been tailored a bit so they fit fine, but the jumper is tough to get into and leaves at least two buttons to port and starboard on my bell bottoms when I finally get it on. We live in a canyon in Montana so I unfortunately I don’t get to pass candy out out to the kids on Halloween. I’m 70 and doing ok, but things are not as easy to do anymore. Fair winds & following seas swabbie!
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I also retired in this date in 1995.