This young man joined United States Navy 20 years ago. His grand idea was to serve one term or enlistment and get out and attend college. That was twenty years ago. His incredibly smart brain got him sucked in the nuclear power program and it just took off from there. What an adventure this sailor has had over the span of those twenty years. He got to see the world and prove all those cool commercials you see on television to be true. He started in 1989 weighing not much more than a buck fifty and a head full of dark hair. He has slowed down a little bit since then as the knees have taken a beating working on metal floors in submarines for so long.
I met this sailor in 2001. We were both in our 30's and had some baggage we were toting around with us. Yet, we got past that baggage to discover that we were meant to be together from that moment on. What an adventure I've had in the past eight years. When I met my husband, I was a small town girl content and satisfied to live in that small town forever and ever amen. He showed me our great country by introducing traveling to my life. With him, I flew in an airplane for the first time, went to visit the West, drove across TEXAS (everyone should have to do this at least one time in their lives), and so many other fun things I never even thought about.
Because of this man and his patience and love for life, I found a side of myself that I never knew existed. The side that would leave that small town to see what else was out there. I will never be able to thank him enough.
You and I will never know exactly what he has seen, experienced, and done. He alone will have those memories to visit when he's older and sitting at the end of the day looking over his life. I admit to being somewhat jealous of those memories because I do know they will be amazing.
I am so honored to be a part of this Chief's life. The future is unfolding in front of us and, even though I wasn't there the entire twenty years of his Naval adventure.....I'm right beside him for the next adventure happening now.
Thank you, Chief The Man. Thank you for serving our country for twenty years and for crying when you said good bye. You are the type of person we need defending our freedom for always.