It seems like most military veterans today wear a hat or jacket, or shirt, or a combination thereof, proclaiming to all around that they “served.” This is good. All non-veterans owe a great deal of thanks to veterans who were there to protect and defend. The veteran wearing this Navy hat happens to be my brother-in-law Jerry. I first met him while I was a student at Michigan Tech, dating his sister Barb, who I eventually married. I did not know it at the time, but he’d come not so much to visit his sister, but to “check me out.” I guess I passed muster. He was in the Navy at the time assigned to the destroyer identified on his hat shown here.

Even though I spent almost thirty years in the Army, I have always harbored a not-so-secret desire to have been in the Navy…imagining myself as officer-of-the-deck on a ship, tossed about on stormy seas with high-powered binoculars in hand, watching for danger in any form. I especially envied those serving on destroyers, because of not only stories told to me by Jerry, but my feeling that it was those sorts of ships that did things which real fighting ships ought to do. Alas, it was not to be, so what I do now is read sea stories a lot, and ask Jerry to tell me what it was like.

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