Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I CALLED KIM THE OTHER DAY

On the ship you see there at the masthead, which is not the ship in this post, there was a LT named Kim who rejoiced in the title of XO. I called him at home one day during one of my days as Command Duty Officer. I asked Kim's wife if Kim was there. She allowed as how he was there and put him on the phone. Kim was a litte peeved that I used his name to his wife and didn't refer to him as XO. I served on actual warhsips. I could handle his pain and angst.

You know there are days when you seriously don't give a damn. I recall the day we were flying to Bahrain to join a mine sweeping ship and were deposited in Maguire Air Force Base, no doubt by mistake and I told LT Lovejoy to get reservations for both of us at the BOQ. Bob was fairly new at being a lieutenant and wondered aloud, across half the distance of the air terminal what our ranks were in air force parlance. I told him Lt.Colonel at which point a Lt. Colonel tapped me on the shoulder and shared with me his lack of amusement.

I was, like, what are you going to do? Send me to sweep mines on a 30 year old ship? Please.

LT Kim did not join us in our mine sweeping endeavors. He went on to greatness in Paanananaama. Or so some claim. He joined his mates in Special Boats. I know, you'd think they're painted yelllow but no.

We had fun though. I came back to a ship in San Diego which had, when I left, 3 offiers and now reveled in having 12 only 2 of which were qualified as Command Duty Officers and thus  those two were sharing port and starboard duty while the rest skated and I told the new XO on my return that I had no idea what CDOs did, wasn't qualified and would join the rest of the unqualified  in 10 section duty. That meant I only had to be on board only once every 10 days rather then spend every other night on the ship.

On my last trip home I stopped in DC to visit my parents and also my detailer. He allowed as how he would be happy to write me an order modification to extend my time on the ship and I was forced to tell him that I would kill him if he did. Detailers were like that. You had to threaten them with death to get their attention. Since I was sitting in his office in the Pentagon (naval annex to be honest) he knew I was sincere. I was holding a knife and leaning in to share my sincerity.

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