Advice to My Sister in High School

September 13, 2004

Dear Nicole,

Well, to tell first you about the ship I’m now on, at first the Nicholas looked pretty bad when I first arrived in late July, with shoreline power cables being strewn everywhere and generally in pieces, but it’s cleaned up pretty nice.  The beds are not bad.  I’m on the top of three bunks (in a berthing with 70 other guys), but hopefully I’ll never have a bad dream and wake up with a start, because I’ll hit my head without a doubt (not much room).  But if you got my last e-mail, I’ll know a very cold shower is always  a possibility.  As extra good news, I’m back with the sonar division after my foray back in to the electrician’s world.  The hours are much more reasonable (got off at 4:15 today, instead of when it’s turned dark).  Besides that, the food is good, some laughs can be had, and it helps that everyone else is going through it too.


So, you feel you “ratted” someone out.  That can always be a mess, even with the best intentions, but first, you really really should stop calling it that.  “Ratting” carries with it some stigma that you have some devious agenda, by bringing what you know to light, and makes the whistleblower (how it’s termed in the professional world, like with Enron) seem a bigger jerk than the person being told on.  Some things to think about when you’re deciding if this is a big enough deal:  can someone be hurt, is something of your or someone else’s going to be damaged, and can this in any way be deflected back to yourself? It seems like you did weigh these things, and did the right thing.  Good for you, I’m proud.  Of course, me being proud a thousand miles away won’t help when you see them every day.  Yet, as a wise man once said, “we must stand for some things, or we will fall for all things.”  If it helps, I must face such confrontations, in myself and with others, fairly often, when a short-cut could be taken; but even though it doesn’t make sense, we must follow the guidelines we in the Navy were given.  It can be hard, because that can  take extra time, which can cause complaints.  You will definitely face less of this as the people around you mature, but hey, we’re always just human.  Sometimes, it just takes a slick shoulder for it all to fall off of.  I also hope your groundings by Mom will be less and less frequent (as a word of advice, be home when you’re supposed to, and don’t be out everywhere, waking Elmwood at all times).  I only say this because, really, no good can ever come of it, and you’re too good of a person to get caught up in anything.  We gotta look out for each other Sis, because you’re the only one a got.  Love you.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Love this post! Great words!


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