Pardon me if my typing & proofing leaves more to be desired (that usual). My neck has been hurting like gangbusters the past couple days. So I’ve taken a slew of Motrin and thought that red wine might help, too. So far I’ve had 2 big glasses, and am not anywhere near ready to quit.
Saturday I went to dinner with friends. All but one of the friends are Navy vets. When I got to the restaurant, one was checking out the Navy-Notre Dame football game on the tv in the bar. It was toward the end of the game, and the score was 28-28. Obviously the game would go into overtime, but it was time for dinner. So we went back to our table, enjoyed the meal, then checked back with the bartener. The game was over & Navy had won, but we didn’t know the score. Turns out it was 46-44. We thought, that’s a hell of a lot of points scored in an overtime. Turns out it was three overtimes!
Another one of the friends pointed me to an article in the Washington Post about the game. Please go read it. (It’s short.) It made me swell with pride. I think most of you know that I was a Navy officer. I have friends who are still in the Navy who’ve done quite well. And more who retired. The article talked about what makes a military academy different from other colleges. And while I didn’t go to the Naval Academy, I did withstand four months of the type of waking up at 5:30 a.m., getting yelled at by upperclassmen, losing liberty for carrying a book bag improperly, standing watch from 0001-0400 (midnight to 4:00 a.m.) then having to get up at 5:30 a.m. and go through a normal day of fast paced classes, inspections and chores. Everyone who has gone through this process will tell the academics and physical tests are nothing compared to the stress and difficulty of enduring the life of a prospective sailor.
I remember when I first saw “An Officer and a Gentleman.” I was stationed in Newport, Rhode Island (just a gorgeous as you’d expect) and went to see the film with 3 others, 2 of them fellow Navy officers. After the movie, the one “civilian” asked “Is it (OCS) really that difficult?” I think we all laughed and said, “Oh, it’s much tougher.” If you’ve never been through experience, you really can’t understand. As I look back on it, I’m surprised I actually made it; yet it’s one of the things I’m proudest of.