Today marks 22 years since my first morning at Great Lakes for Navy boot camp. I just don't understand where the time has gone. It doesn't seem possible that it's been that long...it's been an interesting trip. Countless schools, a dozen duty stations up and down the east coast (some of them duplicates), four ships, five deployments, three major shipyards (plus ENTERPRISE, which seemed at times like one long shipyard punctuated with some time at sea), couple of shore tours, a resignation from active duty and re-entry to uniformed service, and now my own command here in Greenville...it's been a whirlwind of an adventure. I can't say it's all been fun, but it's gotten me to where I am today, with a wonderful family, some good memories, a lifetime of experience, and some more adventures on the horizon. I can't imagine who I would be today, or where I'd be (probably in jail, lol) without the life I have lived.
I've met some interesting folks along the way. Good people, not-so-good people, and more than I can count who gave me guidance or directed my life (not always for the better, at least at the time), many more than I can count who I don't even keep in touch with anymore. But I have to say, of all of the groups and individuals I have met, I have found some of the most enjoyable and most enriching interactions and relationships here, in this Forum family. I've been part of more professional and social groups than I care to think about, and as many here have noted in the past, none of them hold a candle to this crazy community that has grown around such a crazy machine. Thanks for all you guys do to support each other and bring smiles and levity and support to each other.
I wouldn't be here without my crazy wrenchwench and partner in crime, @sideseatdriver. You and our kids are what keep me going, pointing in (mostly) the right direction. Thanks for all of your support over the years, and especially the support to join this particular brother- and sister-hood on 3 wheels. I couldn't do this without you. Love you, baby.