by Roger Korth
So often we hear those famous words, “Thank you for your service.” How often do we say, “Thank you Navy for the memories.”
Aside from being scared sh—less a few times, they took a kid and returned a man. They sent or took me to places I never would have gone in my entire life. We got to see so many wonderful things that we had seen in movies and didn’t really believe were real.
From looking in an aquarium to being able to swim in one is one of my greatest memories. Now retired and landlocked, I remember back to the days of going to sleep in star-studded skies and tropical seas. Awakening to brilliant sunrises on the horizon. From riding terrifying oceans with massive swells to sailing glass-covered tranquilily serene seas.
Visiting ports of call crowded with people of every race, creed, and color speaking languages we didn’t understand. Experiencing cultures and foods and religions unknown to us, and us melding into their society. Learning to see and understand experiences we never knew existed.
Meeting so many friends and shipmates; some names you can’t remember and some you’ll never forget. Hoisting a beer to celebrate anything and wobbling back, remembering nothing. Never forgetting some things we wish we could and trying to remember something we can’t. But most importantly, thank America and the United States Navy for being a very important part of our lives.