I was never in the U.S. Navy, but my father was and he loved it! He was a navy salvage diver. You know, those guys in those big, brass, hard hat suits. As a child, we’d go tent camping and every night my brother and I would plead with him to tell us “navy stories” around the fire. We heard them all, hundreds of times, but we never grew tired of them. I grew to love the navy through him and those stories.
I have no regrets in life. None! But, if I had my life to live over again, I’d take a serious look at being in the navy or coast guard. I think if my father had to do it over again, he would have made a career out of the navy. But after World War II, that wasn’t an option. They wanted people out.
I love boats. But I also love a feeling of camaraderie. Trusting and depending on people you work with day and night, trying to accomplish a goal. I always get asked if I miss racing. I don’t! What I miss is that close sense of camaraderie I felt with my teammates. I’ve never quite had that same feeling as when I was racing. When I hear people talk about the military, sure, they may have some complaints, but they almost always refer to the camaraderie they felt and how they miss it. I think it creates a sense of pride as well. Pride for being part of something bigger than ourselves, doing a challenging, difficult job.
Pride and camaraderie were very evident when we had the privilege to visit the USS Ingraham atNaval Station Everett. The USS Ingraham is the very last frigate built and, according to our hosts, the very best frigate ever built! They spoke of their ship as it was one of their navy comrades. It was obvious that our hosts were extremely proud of what they did, where they did it, and who they did it with. They were also really smart, fun loving, and extremely funny.
Once again, The Boat Guy is one of the luckiest people on the planet! It was an amazing day and a great privilege. I only wish my dad was alive to share it with me. He would of have loved it! Perhaps I’ll tell him my own “navy story” when I go to bed tonight.