There once was a young man who hearing the call to arms of his country, went and served in said countries Sea service. In his case it was the German Navy, the conflict at that time being World War I. Still from all accounts, he served honorably, and at the end of his time of service, returned to his home and civilian life. Within the next ten years he would find himself and his bride, on the shores of a new land, America. They would have two children, a daughter and a son.
The boy grew up and his country called to him. Unlike his father, he did not hear the call of the Sea, the newest branch of the armed services – the Air Force – became his home, if only for a few short years, before returning to civilian life. Within a few short years, he took a firey redhead to be his bride. They raised a family of three, two boys and a girl.
Their first born son was a dreamer, and more than a little romantic. Though smart enough to realize the grass was not always greener on the other side of the hill, none the less he was bound and determined to see what was beyond the crest. To go, as L’Amour would have said, “Yondering”. To this end fate decreed it would be a Sailor’s life for him. And so in April of ’73 he began the process that would see him in Navy blue by summer’s end. Some twenty-odd years later, would see him returning to civilian life.
During that time, he also took a wife. And as his grandfather, and father before him, he had a family. Three sons were his blessing.
Fast forward to the here and now. The oldest has grown into a fine young man, and is employed in the southwest. With talent, brains, and a fair amount of common sense, it is only a matter of time before he is blessed with success.
The youngest son, is still planning his future. He is fulled with passions, and perhaps an artists eye for the world, time will tell what road he travels out on, but he is not quite at that point in his journey through life. A work in progress.
No, it is the second son. The one who seemed at times to be musician, dreamer, student. With a college already behind him, he wanted more. Perhaps to see what was over the next hill, as his father had done. More likely, to pursue and develop other talents which had been laying dormant, along with enhancing others already at hand.
Heeding the call, whether it came from their country, or from their heart. As it was with his great grandfather, grandfather, and father, now it is his generations turn. To see some of the world, to test himself against others. To perhaps gain a better understanding of himself, and of those who have gone before.
So here is to Patrick, off to the Navy in the next week or two. He has been accepted in to the Navy Nuclear program. I am not surprised at this, as they accept only the best and brightest. He is all that and so much more. I have no doubt he will serve with honor. And at the end of his time in service, be it one enlistment, or a lifetime of dedication toward “duty, honor, country”, both he and the Navy will be richer for it.
And though I am least deserving of it, I am very proud of you. And can only add this in closing:
Anchors Aweigh my boys
It is farewell to college joys
We sail at break of day day day day
Through our last night on shore
Drink to the foam
Until we meet once more
Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home!
“Fair Winds and Following Seas”, as you begin your nautical journey.
UPDATE: His mom emailed me this morning. Guess MEPS must have called at the last minute, as he is being sworn in this morning and then on his way to Great Lakes. The adventure begins!