Comments: When The World is as Small as a Rubber Ball

I got married after I left active duty in the Navy. I was an airdale, and saw what those deployments and long hours and mission scheduling did to relationships. A great many just can't handle it.

Thing is, my wife just could never understand the love I had for my fellow airdales, my shipmates. She couldn't understand how I could get a phone call late at night from someone I hadn't spoken to in years, yet get dressed and go out to comfort him, or help him out, bail him from jail, whatever.

Long ago, in the faraway, we stood the watch together. We flew together. We had eachother's back, and knew that when something happened, we could depend on eachother to be there. That kind of love is hard to fathom for someone who hasn't experienced what we did.

When that "Dear John" letter showed up, or something happened back home, or the stresses got a bit much, there was always a brother to lean on, someone to listen. It was as strong as blood ties, and it will stand the test of time.

I keep going, writing what I write, and doing what I do, because those who we lost along the way would have wanted it. We owe them our today, because they sacrificed their tomorrow. As long as I and others remember them, they are alive.

Military service changes you, in ways you won't understand at first. Only later, as you go along, do you realize the bonds of those shared experiences, the real love of one brother for another.

God Bless those gone before, and know that we greybeards still keep the watch.

Posted by AW1 Tim at March 11, 2012 02:22 AM

Well stated, Tim. Only those who have been there know.

Posted by Angus of Morvern at March 11, 2012 10:02 AM

It is a very small world indeed! I'm so glad you found her and that she continues to live life instead of sinking into despair. A lesson for us all.

Posted by Teresa at March 11, 2012 12:19 PM

Tim: Your comment is one of the reasons I loved reading Lex's blog and his commenters so much. I was never in the military, but have always been interested in it, and that blog was my window into a world that doesn't get much mainstream exposure. THANKS

Posted by George P at March 11, 2012 10:10 PM

Amazing connection!

Posted by -flatlander- at March 11, 2012 10:52 PM

FB is good for family or finding classmates for a reunion. That is all I have and we were organizing our 40th HS reunion for last year. The only oddity is that my BIL is running for office and I get to see his commentary. Otherwise it is pretty quiet.

That is all ... no work people ... no one from blogs.

The anonymity works.

Then there is "Joe" (or his namesake) who appears to be directing a play in Ft Walton Beach, or heading to the Dominican Republic, or something. Its hard to keep up with that man.

Posted by The Thomas at March 12, 2012 11:47 PM