Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

To Aid or Not To Aid?

Less than two days prior to returning to homeport we got a message from above telling us to "stay put." We were near the coast off Camp Lejeune wrapping up our strike group certification and offloading our Marines while watching the news of worsening conditions in Louisiana and Mississippi. USS Bataan was already on station, and rumors were flying about who was going next.

Within the crew was diverse mix of emotions. Many wanted to go south and lend a hand. Others just wanted to go home and maximize their time with friends and family with a deployment on the near horizon. The last time I remeber such a mix of opinions was on September 11.

The ship I was on at the time was forward deployed in the Mediterranean, and we watched events in New York and Washington from about noon Eastern Time, as we started the day nursing hangovers following a night of hard-earned liberty in Valetta, Malta. By sunset, a third of the crew of that ship wanted to sail east and kick some ass, another third wanted to go home and make sure family and loved ones were safe, and the last third wanted to do both. I was in the last third.

After over a day of nervous waiting and rumor swapping, we were told to return to home on schedule and get busy fixing the ship to forward deploy on schedule. With Bataan on station, Iwo Jima, Truman, Tortuga, Shreveport and several other ships already at sea and en route, we were satisfied that the job would get done. And, once the holiday weekend is over, most of us will be too busy to debate whether our time would be better spent in the Gulf of Mexico. But for now, it seems that debate is still silently raging in our heads.