I must respond to a question asked by someone. I was asked how could I not know that a neighbor in the cul de sac was out to sea.
We don't talk about it. It's that simple.
Surface floats are called ships. They are fondly referred to as "targets" by the submarine community. You can't hide one of those suckers if you tried. Therefore, their schedules aren't exactly hidden or kept too secret. That's why you see grand homecomings on the news when they pull in.
Submarines are called boats. Why the difference, I'm not sure. Please don't make the mistake of confusing the names. It tends to ruffle feathers of both surface guys and subbies.
Submarines are called the Silent Service. They are stealthy creatures. Able to go in take care of business and be far away before CNN even smells them. Their comings and goings are not discussed. Not in public. No grocery store talk or Walmart chit chat. Not even over the phone. You may talk in "code" with another sub wife. It's a hard language to learn.
You do not know when they're coming in until they are 24 hours or less out from port. You truly don't even know when your guy leaves out. He may report to the boat at 6 a.m., and they could leave at 7 a.m. or the next day. It's really tight.
Conversation between me and neighbor whose hubby is out at the moment.
Me: What happens when a submarine has a leak?
Her: You come back in to port to fix it and let a newbie who freaked out over it off of the boat!
Me: So when is your hubby flying out on vacation?
Her: Sometime in the next couple of days.
We may know when hubbies are gone. We may not. Usually you can guess if you pay attention, but you don't BRING attention to it.
Back at Christmastime, one of our boats was out on patrol. A neighbor friend said she got a call around the 20th telling her that if she had plans to go out of town....she might not want to go...because things happen and such. Talk about frustrating. Many holiday travel plans were suspended and plane tickets lost to get a day with a sailor. So goes this life. You piss. You moan. You deal.
One friend had a gender telling ultrasound planned. Her hubby got home in time to go with her. (It's a BOY! YaY Coty and Tristan!!)****Sometimes it works in your favor...sometimes it doesn't.
This concludes your Navy lesson for the day. That's why I didn't know Mr. Neighbor Across the Cul de Sac was gone and that he had returned until the sign was posted. Signs are allowed day of arrival.
And I may piss. I may moan. But, I deal. I'm very proud of the boys* here. It takes a special breed of sailor to ride a submarine.\
*I specifically say boys because the United States is the only country left that does NOT allow women to serve on subs. Let's see. Enclosed vessel. Close quarters. Nope, do not have a problem with it at all.
***I kept coming back and reading this post because something wasn't setting right with me. I misspelled Coty's name!!!!!! Girl, I am so sorry. Spell check don't cover you! *Will buy you cafe mocha to make up for it*