Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Post #200 On Memorial Day

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.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Fun times in Fujairah

Well we pulled into Fujairah, U.A.E. to load on fuel and stores yesterday, and we just pulled out a little earlier today. Whenever we pull into Fujairah, we're usually restricted to the port. It's alright, though, because there are 3 duty-free shops and 2 seaman's club "bars". I enjoy Fujairah because its simple. Go ashore, grab a few things from the duty-free stores and then have a few beers and some good food. Enjoy some Filipina entertainers even.

Last night, though, is what demonstrated what being out to sea with your shipmates is all about. Most of the people who had free time ended up at the one bar at the very end with the "Filipina cover band", air conditioning and is above the duty free store at the end of the run. So pretty much we were all there from the Kanawha, enjoying ourselves, the Captain was getting relieved to go on vacation, and he was buying drinks left and right, a few people were leaving, a few people were coming, all swapping stories, getting drunk and enjoying themselves. Eventually the entertainers were pushed aside as a few of our shipmates got on stage as if it were a karaoke bar!

It was one crazy night, and we all made sure that we all made it back to the ship safely, no matter who you were, a shipmate was there to help you up the gangway and into your bed. So that next morning, when it came time to get underway, everyone made muster.