The Power of Prayer
By Garland Davis
The new Commanding Officer had taken command a few days before the new DLG departed Long Beach for the ship’s next deployment to the Western Pacific and the Vietnam warzone. He had spent the first few days reviewing records and reports generated by the ship. As he read, he became deeply concerned. During the previous WestPac deployment, the ship had amassed quite a large number of VD cases, usually after visits to Subic Bay, and liberty incidents involving alcohol.
Being a highly religious person and a lay preacher in his church, the Captain determined to reduce the numbers during this cruise. He discussed it with the Executive Officer and directed him to have the Department Heads and Division Officers conduct group counseling sessions with their personnel stressing the bible and the sixth commandment.
Ensign Smith had reported the day before the ship deployed. He was assigned to a week in each division in the Engineering Department before becoming the Damage Control Assistant. He was currently attached to the Senior Chief BT because the LDO B Division Officer didn’t want to deal with him.
The B Divo turned the counseling task over to the Ensign and told him to stress religion. In preparation, he took a bible from the bookcase in the Wardroom, went to his stateroom to figure out what to say during his meeting with the off-watch BT’s. He eventually decided to talk about the Ten Commandments. He took some notes and prepared his talk. He decided to talk about “You shall not commit adultery” and “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house or wife…” He also decided to talk about the power of prayer.
The following morning, all off-watch BTs mustered on the fantail. The Ensign talked at length on abstaining from strong drink, the Shall not Covet Commandment, the Adultery Commandment, and the importance of praying. After he was finished, he asked, “Does anyone have any questions?”
Getting no response, he dismissed the men, thinking that it had gone well. As he walked away, he heard one of the Firemen ask a grizzled career Second Class, “What did he say?”
The Petty Officer replied, “He said, Don’t get shitfaced, don’t sleep in your shipmate’s rack or hit on his barhog, it’s okay to fuck if you are married, and say a prayer before you get some pussy!”