Yesterday, I received the following email from my father.
This Memorial Day, I want you to know that I appreciate
the fact that you are serving in probably the most under-appreciated
service. It was just two years ago that I attended the funeral of my Uncle
Jim Burke, who served as a Merchant Marine Officer during the Second World
War. He, like you, traveled the globe in support of the military's mission
in that war, including supporting the invasion of Europe on D-Day. It
wasn't until many years after the war that the Merchant Marine members of WWII
received the proper recognition and veteran status they
When I was in the Navy, all of the non-combatant ships were
part of the Navy, as you know. In fact, your grandfather, CDR Mike
Trens' last command was as skipper of the USS Rehoboth (AGS 50), an
intelligence gathering ship. I've attached a copy of the ship's
seal. Service in the fleet auxiliary is by it's nature dangerous, because
our enemies know the fleet can't do its job without logistics
Yes, you are a Civilian, but you are doing a job that in past wars was
done by members of the military.
Thank you. I love
you very much, and am very proud of you.