This unique country of ours has a great history of remembering all the heroic sacrifices our veterans have made on our behalf going all the way back to our founding, the Revolutionary War. But sometimes i think in our everyday hectic lives, we forget just how many young men and women are out there on 24/7 watch protecting our freedoms without any acknowledgment they even exist. Today at a Fathers day brunch i was talking to my cousin who is 17 and just got accepted to West Point, he told me how excited he was, but he felt like the whole Country was not behind him. I didn't know what to tell him, because i knew he was right. please remember and pray for the 7 Sailors we just lost in that tragic accident a few days ago, its the least we can do.
Gunnerís Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, Palmyra, Virginia
Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, San Diego, California
Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, Oakville, Connecticut
Gunnerís Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, Weslaco, Texas
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, Chula Vista, California
Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, Halethorpe, Maryland
Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, Elyria, Ohio
John, you are so right, as is he. There is a serious disconnect in this
country. Seems to have occurred during my lifetime, as I do not remember
such an attitude when I was a kid. Just a self-absorbed, wanne-be-a-
rock-star, I-have-rights sense of entitlement that has replaced achievement
and personal character.
Got no answers. Tell him to follow what HE knows to be right and not look
outside for affirmation. HE will know personal achievement and pride at
having served. To hell with the self-absorbed.
Spot on Burger. As much as we argue about trivial things here, your OK in my book.
Our world has changed a lot. There are no easy answers, but it is heartening to hear there are still young men and women who answer the call with no fanfare or expectations of thanks. They do it because the know it is the right thing to do.
My heart aches at the loss of our fine sailors. As a retired navy Chief Fire Controlman, I served on ships just like the Fitzgerald, I know those damaged and flooded compartments very well. I can imagine the terror and confusion that occurred there.
May God bless our men and women who go in harms way on our behalf.
I for one haven't forgotten. As a Vietnam Vet, I think about them daily. We have a green porch light, which is a tribute to veterans, that is on 24/7. Dave
It's pretty much what Burger said, as have I many times. "Sense of entitlement". Been going on full speed for the last several years. Add to that the growing lack of God in our country, and there you have it! It's become a runaway freight train. One young man was from a town only 35 miles from me. So sad. Steve, I get what you're saying but frankly, I CAN'T imagine the hell and terror they were going through. God Bless their souls, and their families. Not a good week for them.
When Congress decided it was politically expedient to drop the requirement for young men to serve their country (the draft)it set the stage for our current situation. Now, instead of knowing that mandatory service awaits them they are free to play video games and la la thru life, while more serious types get on with their lives. It's a good thing for a young man to be wrenched from his mothers breast and given to a kindly drill sargeant. I never saw a young man that didn't improve greatly by the application of a little drill sargeant love.I never spoke to a another vet who didn't agree that it makes you grow up, gives you respect for yourself as a man, and earns respect from the population at large.
I'm with Mr. Hammond 100%. I did a four year hitch in the Air Force back in the sixties. I saw many boys grow up to be men who weren't going to make it otherwise. We're seeing the results of not having the draft today.
I agree with Gary and the others. When I got drafted in 1957 at age 23, I was an unhappy camper but was lucky that there was no war going on. Now I am grateful for the experience and wouldn't trade it for anything.
Ever heard the phrase that a former smoker is the most verdant anti-smoker ?
It's because they reached a "hinge point" on an issue and for reasons very mean-
-ingful to them, they reversed direction. I have never smoked, but I have a similar
"hinge point" when it comes to this subject. I say this as someone who "awoke"
with the kindly attention of the military gently whispered in my ear. My old man
was a DI and largely turned me off to any notion of going into the military. There
was no love lost when he croaked out, and I envy anyone who had a good dad,
but I digress .....
By the time I reached my late 20's, I was developing a strong regret for having
never served. I was around vets my age. I had long sought out Vietnam vets to
hear their stories. Vet's from earlier conflicts piqued my interest even more from
a historical perspective. In late 1991 the Gulf War initiated and took it as my cue
to make the jump. I went to see my friendly USMC recruiter, and although he told
me I was "golden", he also followed it up with "We got this one, grandpa". I was
So, with tears in my eyes, I went away with a hurt feeling and a sense it would
never happen. I had blown my chance by "coming around" too late.
That all changed 19 years later when I got the chance to go build forward operating
bases and other forward construction projects in AFG and everything I ever dreamed
the experience could be came true.
I will never know if I would have had the gratitude and appreciation for the mission
at 18 or 22 like I did later in life. I find that few do or did, but it was the best time of
There is something that words simply cannot express about the experience of
going forward with such a self-motivated, hard-disciplined group of men (and a
few women) and "getting it done". It is a feeling of having "made the cut". It is
a knowledge of self achievement. It is a pride of being there and doing it, of sacrifice
and commitment to something other than yourself. All these words still do not
capture what it means to those who serve, ... IN themselves. You either know it,
or it is lost on you.
Something I attribute, perhaps to my age when I went, is a very different sense
of death and giving all. Having done a little time in law enforcement prior to going,
I had plenty of opportunity to see the ragged edge of life. Murders, drunk drivers
killing innocents, domestic and stranger violence, etc. As we came into hostile
contact in AFG and personnel were hurt or killed, I had an odd sense of calm about
the idea of getting killed myself. It boiled down to an extension of the inner sense
of Duty and Honor. That I would rather be killed at a rather young age doing something
outside my self, for a noble cause of country and for those around me, than I would to
live to an old age, having never done anything. I felt that most of the Marines I served
with felt this same way. At least the older ones.
While loss of life and loved ones provokes an involuntary sadness in us all, I never
really go down that path too much. I am always brought back to a place of Duty and
Honor and know that those I knew in service would not want me groveling over their
sacrifice, but would want me snapped to attention and driven forward to be that much
If that makes sense to anyone, you probably need no further explanation. if it doesn't,
I cannot find words to make it happen. It is what drove me to go, and makes me
prouder than anything I have ever done to know INSIDE, that I did it. You cannot
make people understand or feel this.
Noonan, ... none of this forum stuff is personal. We joke and carry on. Maybe
some of our interface gets lost in the typed delivery ? But you are alright by me too.
Gary, You said it very well. Getting a little Love from a drill sargeant will help almost everyone.
Keith....Veteran, US Army
I did there years in the Regular Army 1950-53. I enlisted during the Korean Conflict rather stay in college. I always have thought that every young person should serve their country. I ended up as the company clerk. I finished college with three earned degrees courtesy of the GI bill. We need to honor those served, those that returned home and those that did not.
God Bless those sailors and their families and all our vets
Past present and future.
I was a draftee in 1966 scared to death but glad I went thru it.
And my grandson is an army ranger .
I have been telling people for several years they should
Bring back the draft ! Jim
Just learned from the news several eyewitness accounts on the ship revealed the young man from Ohio died a true hero. He helped several sailors to safety before being trapped when the water tight doors closed. No greater love for man than one who would give his own life that others might live. God bless and rest your soul Gary Rehm Jr.
The moment I heard I lowered my flag to 1/2 staff. why is the flag on the White House at full staff????
I served onboard ship in the service in the 80's. I am amazed and saddend that this happened. When I served on ship, I was a QM and when underway we always had an OOD standing watch, often with a junior officer also on watch to assist, then the QM and CIC always had radar manned, then we had lookout;s on watch - all good people assisting in the safe operation of the ship. Given all the advances in high tech equipment, just amazed it happened.
Has any explanation been given for how these two ships could possibly get
close enough to collide in open water ??? I am no Navy guy, but have read
enough historical accounts to know the Navy does not let non-Navy craft get
very close, and has many layers of security to ensure so.
The investigation will reveal exactly what happened, but it will take some time. As a career navy man who has served on a destroyer just like this one, I can say that something went very wrong, probably a series of errors. These ships are highly maneuverable. The are powered by four gas turbine (jet) engines connected to two controllable, reversible propellers. They can turn very tightly and quickly, and can go from flank speed to a dead stop in nearly their own length. They should have been able to maneuver to avoid a collision, but sadly did not. Here is a video that shows one in action.
Like Steve said, it'll come out, but take some time. Being the holder of a "mere" 100 Ton Masters License, I can say this...our ship was hit on the starboard side. Vessels to the starboard of your vessel have the right of way. So the long of it will have to be determined about proper lookout, safe speed for conditions, lights (or no lights) on either vessel, etc. Was the helmsman tired? Was he/she observing the required AIS system? Was it even working? These questions go for both vessels. It'll probably turn out to be a "he-said, she-said" argument. But the physics of it all don't look good.
So I served with MSgt Steven Douglass in 2006-07, we became pretty good friends or as good as you can get in the Marine Corps. I learned 2 days ago that his son was one of them that was lost aboard the USS Fitzgerald.
Please keep all the families in your prayers. The toughest thing for the family was not knowing if their son was alive or not because the news broke the story before they could notify the families. Attached are the pictures of the lost.
"All gave some, some gave all"
I am saddened at the loss of these 7 men. I served in the Navy from 1972 to 1997.
This says a lot for the ones that grow old....