Leaving the USS Antietam
Just over 8 years ago, I was leaving the USS Mobile Bay, my first ship, and one that I had loved for most of that tour. Even now, I mostly remember the good times, although of course some of the bad times prevail in my memory. I know you don't all want to hear about my sad stories, so I'll refrain. Just know that those feelings I had for the Mob I now have for the Antietam.
Leaving now feels surreal, as if maybe it's not right to go. I know it's time. Heck, everyone on board knows it's time. My boss, FCCM E., told me a little while ago, "FC1, you've ridden this train long enough. It's time for someone else to get a turn." And that is, I think, the general sentiment. Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of guys on board who just wish I'd get out of their way. Fair enough. And I'm sure there are others who just flat out don't care that I'm here or gone. They don't know me. Fair enough there too.
Yet I've spent almost 5 years of my life with this ship. It's an odd thing, to be on board a ship this long. So much has changed since I arrived. I've gone through 3 COs, 4 XOs, 4 dept heads, and a slew of division officers. Had some arguments with a former chief I still don't care for, although ironically I now have his anchors as they were passed down to me from the chief who got them from him. Does that make sense?
And I've been mentored by the best CPO since Jojo Vicencio on the Mobile Bay. FCCM Edwards may not walk on water, but he's close as far as the Navy is concerned (not spiritually, unfortunately). He changed my career path and I'm grateful for that.
Ok, I'm waxing a bit philosophical. It's time to move on. I don't like saying goodbye, so I'll just do my best to kind of "disappear" on Tuesday. In all, Antietam was a good ship. I went through two deployments with her and she always brought me home safe. Thank you sweetheart.
Labels: For Military Believers