Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where has the time gone???

Oh my gosh...

15 years

21 May 1994 was one of only a handful of times I've ever worn my "choker" whites.

I probably would have done a post like this last year (my first year of blogging), but we were in Hawaii and my photo albums were in storage. Last year I provided a summary of where I've been on each anniversary of my commissioning. This year now that we have all our stuff out of storage, I thought I'd scan a few of the photos from my commissioning ceremony to have an electronic record of it.

I always loved the setting in the Camino-Founders Courtyard for the commissioning ceremony at University of San Diego.

We marched into the courtyard in pairs.

My dad administered the oath.

My mom pinned on my shoulder boards.

My friend Ken (QM1(SS) type) gave me my first salute. Unfortunately, the salute happened too fast and I didn't get a picture of the actual salute. This is a picture of me handing Ken the traditional silver dollar in return for the first salute.

Just checking to make sure it was signed and none of my professors turned me in for an "incomplete."

Chris and me on our way out.

I've always liked that last photo - partly due to the two of us in the picture and partly due to the timing of it. On the left is my good friend Chris who would later be best man at my wedding. At that moment in time, we had marched in from opposite sides and done a left-face / right-face toward the exit, and then we immediately stepped off marching out the back of the courtyard. So this picture was taken at the precise moment in time that our heels clicked together and before we stepped off to march out of the courtyard.

I'm amazed to look back and think about what my life was like then and what it's like now. I had NO idea then where life would take me. Sure, I knew I was packing up my shtuff and driving across country to Orlando to start Nuclear Power School, but that just seemed like such a big black amorphous cloud at that point.

I couldn't conceive what life would be like after power school. I just had to focus on getting through it with the optimism that there was a prize waiting on the other side. Indeed there was - the prize was a combination of the sense of accomplishment at having graduated from power school and the opportunity to serve my country on the pointy-end of the spear.

I couldn't have asked for a better JO sea tour. My timing in reporting abord was impeccable - right at the beginning of the POM (Pre-Overseas Movement) workups for an AWESOME deployment. The things we got to do just about made the eyeballs pop outta my head and I was STOKED. There was no doubt in my mind that surviving power school was worth the effort. When we returned from that first deployment, I was kinda bummed it was over and I would have volunteered to go on another one in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the boat needed EDO's for the SRA in the drydock, but that was a good learning experience, too.

So much has happened in the past 15 years, and I am grateful for all of it. Sure, there have been good times and bad times. I certainly didn't enjoy the bad times in situ, and I never wanted nor would wish the bad experiences upon anybody. Even so, I value the experience I have gained through both the good and the bad. Looking back, I can honestly say I have been truly blessed in all of my assignments in the Navy so far. In each of my three boats, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best and the brightest guys in the Navy.

Thanks to all of my shipmates for the things you've taught me and the experiences we've shared over the past 15 years.


divrchk said...

Who would have guessed that one of the guys you'd meet at power school would introduce you to the mother of your children :-) Congrats on hitting 15.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 15 Kevin...certainly something to be proud of. Thank you for sharing your commission photos. Trips down memory lanes of friends are always nice!

Nereus said...

Congradulations on passing 15yrs and thank you for your service to our country.
Enjoy the remaining years, they pass faster on the terminal side of your career.

C said...

Congratulations on hitting the 15 year mark!

kelly said...

Congratulations on 15 Kevin!

JoLee said...

ahh yes, I remember that day very well! We too have great photos of that day!
Congrats... your single minded focus has served you well!

Mr. Hoyer said...

Kevin, it was an honor to give you that first salute. I was pround to have known you as a Chief in the Sea Cadets and it blows me away that you are becoming a CO of a nuclear submarine. I served on 6 subs in my career and I wish there was some way we could have been stationed together. If you need a QM, excused me, ET, to navigate, I'll come out of retirement for you. Like I have always said, my job was the only enlisted job where I could "tell the Captain where to go!" :-)