My husband joined back in the day of the dinosaur; otherwise known as 1977. We were married in 1980 so I have been there for most of the journey. Before you start doing the math and say there is no way he is still in, he has broken service. Meaning he got out and came back in, twice actually. I have always said the Navy is in his blood, and apparently the powers that be know this as they kept letting him come back.
It is funny hearing him talk about the people he works with and realizing he has tattoos older than some of the senior guys. I think he has even shared this bit of trivia with them on more than one occasion. They just shake their head and look at him as if he is some kind of relic. Maybe he is, but he is my relic and I love him.
I have to smile when I hear some of the newer, younger, spouses complain that the e-mail is down. Or they haven’t had a phone call lately. Don’t get me wrong, a missed e-mail still sends me into panic mode because I have gotten used to them. I want them. I need them. But then I have to remind myself that there was a time when we did not have e-mail. Heck we did not even have phone calls except for the rare occasion when the ship pulled into port and I was woke at 3am from a collect call from Israel or some other costly place. I can guarantee that phone bill was not pretty on Petty Officer pay!
At the risk of sounding like my parents, who had to walk to school in blinding snowstorms, uphill both ways, I have been there. Afraid to leave the house, because you never knew when the call would come. Before you say it, I have to remind you this was a time even before cell phones. So a missed call was indeed a missed call. There was no e-mail. There was what we now refer to as snail mail. This was race to the mail box everyday in hopes there would be some word, some envelope, that had traveled around the world at a snail’s pace with news so old it didn’t even pertain anymore. Still it was
that life raft which managed to keep me afloat just by knowing he had sealed each envelope with a piece him himself. You know, saliva, as this was even before peel and stick envelopes!
It is funny what we get used to, and what we come to expect. When snail mail was all we had we dealt with it. But now in the “new” Navy, we bitch when the ship’s internet is down and he can’t get on facebook. We complain when the ships phones are down or heaven forbid they have a delay! It is so much easier now than it was in the past. Through creative code I know when my husband is going to call, or when he is going to arrive at what port. Separations are tough even with all the new ways to communicate but at least the “new” Navy is helping to make the ocean feel a whole lot smaller. I am sure at some point they will have the capacity to Skype from onboard the ship. Of course that may be years in the works and I am not sure if we will still be in to see that. Of course if they install people elevators on the ship then maybe we will. As my husband likes to joke that he will retire, when they block his way and tell him he can’t bring his walker onboard the ship!
I am going to end this now, as I just received an e-mail from my hubby. Have a wonderful day!