For those that might wonder, yes I do miss my time in the Navy a bit. Sometimes. It is the people mostly, not the lllooooonnnggg waiting times to get off the boat, the sometimes good sometimes not so good food, or the long nights and short days (actually 12 hours each, but time is relative) that drain you physically and mentally. For part of my 22 years I was on the flight deck of several different ships keeping helicopters going. Most of the ships and all of the helicopters are no longer in service, but a couple of the ships are still out there, and I bet the flight decks are still just as hard. Yes, I have kissed the deck one time, and yes, hard it is. Especially at night in a blackout and the tiedown chain was not my friend. What I miss the most is the people. I mean, yes, there are people here but most of the people here are the same as the people who were here way back when. On the boat we had many different kinds of people from all over. Of course we had our share of people that I do not miss. Nor do I miss what felt like forever sea times. It is strange how much the feel of the flight deck imprints on you and gives you a sense of peace in the hustle and bustle of a launch or recovery. Danger? Sure, plenty. Safety has to be second nature and nothing is a slow process. Thinking must be done at lightning speed so mostly we relied on training and awareness. Head on a well greased swivel kind of stuff. After all, no one I knew out there wanted to take a swim with the sharks. Or get ground into hamburger by a jet engine or chopped, sliced and diced by propellers or rotor blades. It happens, time to time, when someone get distracted or stresses out. But mostly not. The people made the difference because you had to trust the guys around you with your life, and they had to trust you. Mutual survival is a great influence.
Then my bones and kidneys remind me that I am glad the stress of that environment is part of memories and not current life. Uh-Huh it is indeed. Peace yall and head on a swivel should any seadogs see this post. H-3's rule!