aaron2

Forget about it!

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During my career in the US Navy I had one tour of duty that did not involve being physically on a Naval Station, Even the ship’s I was on were always tied up at a Naval Station. It is also correct if you say Naval Base. But the tour I had was on Brevard Avenue at the old post office in Coco, Florida. At the end of the Brevard Avenue was a bridge and if you crossed it you were in Coco Beach Florida. When I got there I was a young freshly minted Chief Petty Officer who couldn’t even spell Navy Recruiter and then I are one!

Behind us was the New Post Office which replaced the building that we were in and since it was built at the turn of the 20th Century no one wanted to tear the building down. Also in the building was the FBI office, plus the Marines, Army and Air Force recruiters. We never found the Coast Guard recruiter, but then they had that six foot height requirement, incase their boat sank they could walk ashore! (The Navy and the USCG have been joking with each other for years.)

How to Move to the Philippines Manual

Of course the Navy and Marine recruiters were joined at the hip, and my Best friend was Gunny Wolf (I don’t think he had a civilian first name) Sergeant Kirkland was the Army recruiter, and we started off on the wrong foot, until I found out he married a former Navy Brat, whose daddy was my Senior Chief on the USS L.Y. Spear (AS-36)

One day she was entering the post office and I was leaving and I shouted; ‘Laura, where in the world is my old shipmate Max Oswald?” Hugs and laughing and then she told me she was there to go to lunch with her husband the Army recruiter. I said,” But Laura; he is mean to me, and he got to marry you?” The three of us went to lunch, and then they took me to Max’s house where a reunion commenced. Pete Kirkland and I were buddies after that. And Max was shocked that I was still in the Navy and had made Chief.

In the same building was the Air Force Recruiter, they hated it there because across the street was the Greyhound Bus Terminal and people confused their uniforms. They were standoffish and didn’t hang around with the rest of us, and I felt bad for them, because those 3 FBI guys were a hoot and we partied with them all the time. BTW Pete Kirkland our new Army buddy (Because of me) was allowed by his wife to play with the “Big Boys” within reason!

Okay that was my only time not being on a Naval Station, and what the hell does that have to do with the price of eggs in Mindanao? 72 PNP per dozen according to Sir Bob!

Okay I’ll tell you, if you read my past missives they were about operations, Doctors appointments and other very dull stuff. I’ll give you a little background. March 17th I was admitted to the hospital and was MIA from LiP for 2.5 months, I’ve been on the mend at home for the last 3 months, oblivious to the world around me and learning new things (not really new just stuff I’d forgot). I removed my shirt for the doctor, as he poked and prodded my stomach region, there was a mirror there and for the first time in 5.5 months I noticed that I was missing my navel, it was absent without Leave, down the road, out the door and for a fact not there! How had this salient fact gone unnoticed by me? I damn sure can’t blame it on the beer or rum. Nor could I have used the old Navy excuse that has saved me countless times; “If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen!”

Now once again I\m sans a “Navel Station” (Spell check is going bonkers) I have no belly button, was I not born of mortal woman? Did lightning strike a ship’s mast and I just appeared? “Hey Doc, do I get it back after the next operation? I asked.

He smiled and said; No Paul, it has gone the way of the duck, south for the winter! And no I won’t post a picture if it, because there ain’t one! “So Forget about it!’

It is gone, but after 69 years I won’t “Forget about it” at all. Plus I need that beer, more than ever now!

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Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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MindanaoBob
4 years ago

Seems pretty quiet in here! What happened to the comments, Paul? 🙂

Jose Porfirio
Jose Porfirio
4 years ago

Mr. Paul T. I am glad you didn’t start this with , “this is no shit”. 🙂 Good write up, another good reading. (that is no shit) Cheers.

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
4 years ago

Paul,

My belly button isn’t the same since my gallbladder surgery, but i do have one lol. They tried to make me a recruiter back in 1984, but i decided i needed a change of scenery and got discharged. Won’t be long for your surgery and the return of SMB. Hoping all goes well.

Douglas R. Kelley
Douglas R. Kelley
4 years ago

Hi Paul, talking about the belly button, I have more than one. Both provided access to food, one from Good ole Mom, and one from my cancer doctors! They kept me alive at crucial times, and have allowed me to enjoy the good things in life, namely eating. I too was a Navy Recruiter (Reserves). I believe they are combined now. It may seem strange but I enjoyed being one, as I look back I wouldn’t changed anything! The belly buttons, or the lack of, makes an excellent converstaton peice during a day at the beach. Take care, it is… Read more »

UpawPhil
UpawPhil
4 years ago

Hey Paul! I’m always happy to read about your time in the military, infact I’m a huge military history buff and I always love to hear/read about it straight from its source. Once again with a minimum of 500 words, I read your story in the house latrine and pissed off my roomies for doing so as they hear butt trumpets and laughter, whilst they wish to do their business hehe. Oh and let’s not forget about the circular stapler! omg, I’m wondering if they gave it to you when you were out of the hospital… Anyhow, God bless and… Read more »

Neal in Davao
Neal in Davao
4 years ago

Hey Paul, I got a Balikbayan Box in today and it has a Boston Red Sox Shirt in it that says Large but is more like a Med. Send me a addr and I will send it off to you LBC You are the only other Sox Fan I know. Go Sox!

Douglas R. Kelley
Douglas R. Kelley
4 years ago

Remember Zumwalt and what we called the Z-grams, we were a funny, scruffy looking crew back then! When I retired in 2001 they were changing the uniforms again, I refused the change, in other words I didn’t update. I guess that must have stayed with me, I am still using windows 7. Have a good Navy day! Just thinking of my first day onboard an old Diesel Submarine, I was in the forward Torpedo Room, listening to sea stories at about 2200 hours, when the OOD (2nd Lt) arrives and asks, What are you guys doing? Shooting the shit he… Read more »

Douglas R. Kelley
Douglas R. Kelley
4 years ago

Oh my! 1st Lt, it was a LTJG, his name was V.D. Lynch, don’t think we didn’t have with that name. I’ve been retired to long.

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