9 thoughts on “have spacesuit, will travel: An Officer And A Gentleman

  1. Funny enough, my father was in the Navy in 1972. He was in the V-4 Division on the Saratoga (the purple shirt guys running around on the flight deck and refueling planes). Among his “war stories,” was a near-mutiny during Operation Rolling Thunder when the sailors in his division were this close to mutiny since they hadn’t eaten in 24 hours. For obvious reasons the flight deck was a busy place for days/nights on end, non stop. Rolling Thunder, if you remember, was the nonstop bombing campaign near the end of the war.

    THey were working nonstop, having not eaten or slept for 24 hours. They started getting beligerent. So, it was really at a boiling point. The division officer came down (you never usually see him unless something’s really wrong…). THe chief, telling the LT the situation, resorted to a final sorta “line-drawing”. He started calling names. ASking who’s going up to do thier job. Anyone who said no basically was up to a very serious punishable offense. My father, blessed/cursed with our family name which starts with an “A”..had the pleasure of being the first sailor to be called. “Aww…gee..chief..” he started. The chief cursed and asked gruffly what’s it gonna be. He had a clipboard of names getting ready to mark it off.

    So my pops went out to do his job. ANd like a failed union strike…Operation Rolling THunder continued. hehehe.

    It’s funnier when he tells it.

    I wrote about this on my blog briefly in a post regarding my family’s stories over the years.


  2. Oh, and you have a very topical, thought provoking site here, sir. Much better than the lowbrow stuff that I usually post. I often feel a little intimidated in academia…I start grad school in a couple weeks and I pray no one will realize how much of an idiot I truly am.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog.

  3. Thanks for the comments. As you so clearly point out, some people were serving their country in battle in 1972, while others were, perhaps, serving their country by protesting the war. I for one believe that it would be an interesting question for Kerry, to use the rhetorical style my brother chastised in his blog yesterday. Anyway, the question would be “Mr Kerry, had you been graduating college in 1969, or 1970, would you have still made the decision to go into the Navy or would you have chosen instead to protest the war following Tet–and why?”

    Thanks for your kind words, and best of luck in graduate school. Is it a service graduate school, or are you entering a civilian institution?

  4. You know, i think I made an error. I meant Operation Linebacker II (or someother huge bombing campaign), not ROlling THunder. My father wasn’t even 15 when Rolling Thunder was going on. heh.

  5. OOPS. I deleted the following comments of mine by accident:

    I’m at a public university.

    Yeah, the funny thing about my father was that he enlisted when he was 17 in 1971. He had just finished highschool, wan’t even an American citizen yet, merely a legal resident. He had to have my grandfather sign a waiver because of his age. He didn’t really think it was probable he’d get drafted or anything…he and his friends were just sitting around and walked into a Navy recruiting office. My dad’s a big Errol Flynn fan, and he was seriously naive about the Navy. hehe.

    Overall, though, those years he counts among the best in his life. He’s still a salty old sailor today, even though he left it all 30 years ago…

  6. Amazing where the trackback trails lead me.

    Greetings, Professor. Welcome to the world where discussions of duty and patriotism go beyond the academic.

    And you get it from both ends, the Space Cadet about to embark on it, and myself, officially retired from it – but still happily snared in the bonds of duty and service.


    John of Argghhh!

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