the Navy

sailors on deck

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Some people might say that many of the stories in the Bible are just stories. My brother and I being stationed together in 1969 is simular in ways to the story about Joseph and his brothers-they hated him so much that they sold him to slave traders. Who would have guessed my brother was so jealous-that is what it had to be as was with Joseph and his brothers.
I was given some exams when I got aboard ship – given by the education officer to prepare me for navy life and advancement- and everything the man did for me to give me advice for my future my brother would kick the stool out from under me.
I cannot express how much the navy meant to me-it put equals exact and everything in perspective…you knew who was in what position by the stripes on thier shoulders and not by the fancy clothes people out wore each other in out in the civilian world..
Being able to stand in formation and to march as we did in boot camp-the flow of the feet to the cadence sung out by the platoon leader and the beauty of the sound of a hundred pair of shoed feet hitting the ground in order. We wore these white leggings in boot camp-earned after our fifth week of nine. Marching then became more beautiful-the white leggings making it all more majestic , and giving that honor to be there in service and in union with others.
Ship life with my brother was miserable. If it were with out him it would have been so much fun to become a working piece of this great and mighty ship-the Vulcan had over 1200 men…a city at sea,and I wanted to be there.
The times were wrong-people did’nt understand a lot of things then and did’nt accept a lot of other things. My plea for help the day I met the naval intelligence officer was met with a chuckle of a laugh and I was never able to trust again. Somebody should have known…and noticed differently than they noticed back then. Ignored more less. The abuses that took place in that big closet upper decks was so humiliating and did so much to my mind that for years after I would have to re-enact those things to punish myself…and yet-to seek some type of troubled pleasure-troubled. Like a teenager with a razor blade as they mutilate thier skin with cuts for the pleasure of the pain. Its all hard to explain-it is like being a ghost unable to control the want of the agoney because nothing else seems right. All comes from fear-of people and of trust and yet wanting is so natural and getting is so uncertain,you want to be with people and you want to trust….but the fear is so strong….I want to be with people,and can not. People want to be with me-and I am afraid.
Proud I was to be as one of the guys in the picture-in my dress whites and in parade formation-the events in the navy stole so much from my life and replaced it with so much charred material.

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