From the Past to the Present – Thanks

Past and Present copySomewhere under the blue Pacific Ocean today, a young sailor arose from Bunk room 1, bunk 3 to do whatever it is that he is tasked with doing to guard my freedoms today. It is quite probable that he wasn’t even born the last Thanksgiving Day that I climbed out of that rack and headed off to the Missile Control Center to watch over the Nuclear Deterrence of the nation.

Thanksgiving at sea can be a great thing. I was young and single, with no real attachments and eating the best food the Navy had to offer on the best day of the year to just eat. A very long time ago.

Today, I am thankful for whoever that sailor who took my place is. That he, or even she these days, chose to take on the task of defending freedom. That they are willing to be away from family and friends on this holiday to make sure that I and my family, as well as you and yours, eat, fellowship and enjoy the day in liberty and safety.

I am and will always be thankful for my time aboard USS Michigan SSBN-727(G). A ship is more than metal and equipment, it is made up more of flesh and blood in the form of her crew than she is by what Electric Boat put aboard her. And for me, those men with whom I served all those years ago – a generation and a half – are still the most precious and influential gift that I ever received. As the days pass and the years seem to shorten, I come to appreciate those shipmates more and more with each day that slips by to join the others in the past.

I am ever so thankful for those men and that time. Not just for what we did and accomplished, but for what it has come to mean to me after so many years. We were so young, and now as we age, I look back at how much each and every one of them influenced me and my life, and it reminds me of how blessed I was to have served with those people.

And this morning, some young Sailor got out of our old bunks and made his – or even her – way to watch stations we used to man. Carrying on our traditions and our work.

I am thankful for those sailors, and for my shipmates of yesterday.


Posted on November 27, 2014, in News & Notes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Dave.
    Thank you for your service for protecting all of our rights & freedoms that we all share.
    Mostly Thank you for your words, that elegantly touch the page
    Happy Thanksgiving who I proudly call my family friend.
    Grandpa Ken


  2. Well said, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you!
    On behalf of the officers and crew of USS MICHIGAN (SSGN 727), it is my pleasure to welcome you aboard as our guest. My crew and I are proud of our ship and we stand ready to assist you in any way to make the most of your visit. We hope you will share our pride in being part of this vital national asset.
    The men of the USS MICHIGAN typify the high level of professionalism, skill, and reliability traditionally found in the Submarine Force. The average age is very young compared to the responsibility entrusted in them. They come to us from all walks of life and from every state in the Union, but all share a common goal – to operate the finest ship in the Navy at the forefront of our nation’s defense.
    We invite you to ask questions! You will find the entire crew is eager to explain the details of their operational responsibilities and the routine of Submarine life. It is my hope that your time aboard USS MICHIGAN gives you a better understanding and appreciation of the “Silent Service.”
    USS Michigan SSGN 727
    2100 Thresher Ave.
    Silverdale, WA 98315
    (360) 396-6473


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