Then, I'll send along the second part of a "two-fer." Every sailor accumulates memories; this work of art perhaps will jog loose and awaken a long-napping experience at sea (or while on liberty ashore).
A Navy Radioman (or a CT/O) will know where to put the TARE Line separating them. Gunners - recall "Maggie's Drawers" at the range.
God bless our native land - and the Navy.
I’ve seen the sunrise over Crete, a setting moon in Cannes,
I’ve cat-called at Levantine storms, sailed ‘round the Isle of Man;
Played bumper-pool with growlers high above the Arctic Line –
Such memories are part of me. I’m proud to say they’re mine.
I signed a solemn note for Dad, which set me underway,
On treks and triumphs, smiles and scares – they’re part of me, today,
He might not have approved, you see, and so, I stole his pen,
I signed and joined an elite group we knew as “Navy men.”
In Southeast Asia’s sweaty clime we ran a taut regime,
Patrolling coastal waters for an enemy unseen,
In baking sun and torrent-rain, the smell of green decay
We singled up our monitor – and then got underway.
Around the world by half again, where loneliness is king,
Where wind and wave pledge secret troth, I heard a mermaid sing,
We transited an eerie track, where sailors, lone and lost
Have sought to break their doldrums, down beneath the Southern Cross.
Olongapo – and Subic Bay were gemstones in a crown
Where shore leave, rough and tumble made the perfect sailor’s town!
Or in Rosythe, or in Faslane – or the ‘wee and holy loch” –
And ‘Bill,’ of Royal Customs, there, enforcing tax on smokes!
And Sydney, green and friendly – and Dubrovnik, maybe less,
The innumerable occasions, when the ship was brightly dressed,
The monkey fists, the finework, the brass, too bright to gleam!
How strange – indeed, exotic, to a lubber this might seem….
That’s why I signed the paper, Dad; that’s why I went to sea –
The Navy has its perils – as does Life here, on the lee,
My country’s name and honor are two things I’ll not forsake,
My Oath made me a sailor - It’s a promise I’ll not break!
I’ve seen typhoons roar over Guam, the barren Adak land,
And flying fish, before the storm, and pristine, endless sand;
This life took me around the world, and to this very day
My spirit’s sea bag awaits the word for getting underway.