Tuesday, May 19, 2009

USS Bataan Underway

I Love My Sailor

Good-byes are always hard but when you know you are about to watch you child sail off and you won't see them for seven months it some how just doesn't feel the same. You need to say something that will encourage them and you. All while you're staring at the vast nothingness that the ocean holds. Your heart is breaking and you want to go and tell some Major or Lieutenant that they better take good care of your son or they will have you to answer to (well at least I wanted to!). Problem is you can't. They've grown up and have a job to do whether you like it or not. They have a country to protect. Ours. I don't believe a parent could be prouder than I was as I watched Josh make his way down the dock and on his ship.

I told you I'd post some more pictures in a
few days. Well I'm closer to a few weeks but here they are.

This is Josh where he works in Air Traffic Control. All those little yellow dots on the screen are actually numbers. They are the identifying numbers of the planes in the air. I believe the screen was set on a twenty mile radius at this point. Now you know why they say it is a stressful job!

The four men in my life standing outside and under the flight deck.

Interesting fact: All Sailors must have their hats on when they are outside.

This is one of the Navy ships stationed in
Norfolk, Virginia. They did a drive by for our benefit. You can see the edge of our ship in the lower left hand corner. The picture is a bit deceiving in that it was much closer than it looks here.

The Navy really went all out for family day. They also sent a submarine by. You can see the sailor saluting us as they pass. Pretty cool!

This is the Sea Knights helicopter coming in for a landing. Gotta love the name. Wait til you see the painting on the side.

I bet this pilot likes Medievals!

Ever wonder what the Navy Brig looks like? Yeah me neither but here is one for you to see anyway. We were informed they are no longer allowed to feed their prisoners stale bread and water. One thing you won't see here is any televisions and the only reading they are allowed is the bible.

This is a picture of the proud mom and dad and their son after a wet and windy day out to sea.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our Navy at Work

God Bless the US Navy

Monday afternoon we drove six and a half hours to Norfolk, Virginia and Tuesday morning at five am we boarded a Naval ship the USS Bataan with our oldest son Joshua. Josh's ship is getting ready to head out for seven months. Family day is the Navy's way for the family members to see what their loved ones are going to be doing while they are separated.
Josh is an Air Traffic Controller for the Navy and it was eye opening to see the responsibilities these young men and women have. Actually for each and every person on the ship. It ran as smooth as a clock even with the extra several hundred civilians. I can't imagine trying to do my job with hundreds of people poking their heads in, asking questions, getting in the way, and just plain slowing me down but every one of these sailors did it with a great attitude. I met the captain of the Bataan-- a good natured man that you never would have guessed held the responsibility of a Naval ship on his shoulders.

What a busy day!
The ship was hopping when we walked on. The crew was helpful and in high spirits. It was a great reminder to me of why I am so patriotic and why I am so proud of my son. I take my hat off to each and everyone of these men and women who have given years of their lives so that I can live in a country that is free and safe.
(This eagle picture is painted on the inside door of the ship and I am going to guess it to be twenty to thirty feet tall)

Their lives are not luxury. They work in small areas, their
halls can barely fit two people passing, they have to climb
up two ladders and down three just to get to the mess hall,
they sleep in what they call coffins and they do it without

complaint because they love the USA.

(This is the halls and the doors that you
must step through to get anywhere on the ship)

(To the left are the the 'coffins'. I know the next time I want to complain that my bedroom is too small I'll think twice on it!)

(To the right is the mess hall)

This pully system is what drops and draws up the anchor. To give you an idea of the size of this chain, each link weights 380 pounds. There are two of these anchors stationed sided by side. These are dropped when they are in the ocean not when they are docked. They use the mooring lines to tie to the docks.

Check back in a few days for some more pictures from the USS Bataan!