Welcome Aboard

September 28, 2004 Tuesday


Hi, Home–It’s me, and I’m glad that first you will check your email more, and
second that you share my letters with Dad.  I’m sure that both of you
have many questions about it here, and I’d like to answer any you may
have.  What must just be part of the military, if “see the world”
really means “you’re on the fast-track to Iraq,” having the freedom to e-mail
seems to really mean having it partially available at times.  The batch
I wrote yesterday have shown up in my inbox as “delayed,” so you should
be getting a flood of words soon.  But moving on…

First off, I must being with the ship herself, the Nicholas.  It is an
old frigate, now twenty years strong.  I had not seen the film until
arriving here, but since I have, the Caine from Humphry Bogart’s “The
Caine Mutiny” seems to me to have more than a passing resemblance to the
Nick.  Shall we be soon missing strawberries?

The living conditions arebetter than I would have expected, and I get more sleep than in nuke school.  I’m trying to think of some metaphor to bring it all home, what
it’s like, but I may fail, I this may be something that one would simply
have to experience first hand.  It is a rather fascinating thing to
behold at times though.  The ship is run, as best it can, by the rules
and schedules it has dictated to her, but sometimes this can cause

More than a week ago one early morning everyone had the idea
we were going to PT (exercise, yet it was cancelled, because it wasn’t
listed in the official schedule, the Plan of the Day.  And often. if you
need something simple, like a wrench from the gear locker or are looking
for a particular person, you are confronted with whys, whens, and
how-comes, like a uniformed, hooked caterpillar.  Perhaps I’m just not
sensitive yet on how to go about some things.  I do realize, for the
record, that very few people get to every experience, and there’s a
small fleeting sense of gratification when I’m along the side as we pull
out of port.  It’s not a bad life.  I suppose I will struggle with this
until the day I walk away from the Navy.

Mom, while I am thinking, could I offer a request?  Could you write more
than a passing account of some things, when you have more than a moment
to spare?  If you could start with your earliest memories, any early
stories you’ve been told about yourself, family memories, quips, and
20/20 observations of yourself up to, say, the end of grade school.
Take some time with it.  Thanks.

Well, hopefully this will not be delayed too long… we’ll see.  I have
watch in an hour.  Right now we are doing 6-on, 6-offs (6-hour shifts),
in which when you’re off you can do virtually anything (unless your
asked to do work) : eat, watch a movie, e-mail, read, play video games,
sleep, sleep, and sleep.  Love you all, and I’ve followed every Chicago Bears
game, nearly play-by-play on ESPN’s Gamecast, Dad, so you know I’m not missing out on important things.

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