Day by Day



08 September 2009

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A long time ago I took up a direct commission in the Navy Reserve.  It was 1997.  The internet boom was in full swing, Clinton was POTUS and it looked like most of the free world would continue to expand and things would chill out. 

 

That was not to be the case.  The USS COLE (DDG 67) was bombed in Aden harbor, our embassies in Africa were attacked and things just went south from there.  As a consequence, I was shocked (but perhaps not surprised) when the World Trade Center was attacked almost eight years ago. 

 

At that time I was the CO (commanding officer) of a maintenance unit in Norfolk, Virginia.  A lot of my sailors were recalled to active duty and assigned to security across military facilities around the nation.  What many people fail to remember is that until 2001, almost all military installations were open bases.  That is almost anyone was permitted to drive around on base, with a few exceptions.   I was turned away from Fort Knox when I asked to conduct a spot citizen’s inspection.

 

I was an officer with NPS (no prior service) at the time.  As part of my community, we were rotated through various schools, training evolutions and assignments UI (under instruction) to build up our credentials and experience enough to make us useful to the Navy.

 

One of my very good friends, Steve Michaels, is now deploying to Afghanistan.  Steve is a great guy, a competitive marathoner, piano player, Eagle Scout and uber-geek (anyone with a masters in Electrical Engineering qualifies).  He is also dedicated to his beliefs and committed to our nation.

 

I spent time with Steve in New York at the New York Maritime University’s campus under the Throgg’s Neck Bridge.  It was for a two week course in basic naval engineering.  We were instructed by the saltiest of merchant mariners and billeted aboard the school’s break bulk freighter, the Empire State.   

 

Steve is an enthusiastic member of our nation’s armed forces.  He stayed the course when a lot of our colleagues fell by the wayside.  Spend some time reading about his experiences at Major FUBAR.