It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. I started posting when I left for Kabul in December 2010 as a way to share my experience in and on the way to Afghanistan with my friends and family. Once I got there and started working I had very little time to write, this wasn’t the forum to discuss what I was doing at work and I grew bored and started to feel like a MeMonster. So I stopped. (If you decided to scroll through old posts you’ll understand why I describe myself as an accidental tourist.)
For years a small, tenacious, and loyal group of friends has told me it’s ok to share what I write with the public. I joked and swore they were just being polite. “You have to like what I write; you’re my best friends.”
Seeing the response to this blog convinced me they’re right even if they’re biased. Carole, Kamey, Megan, Piper, Julie… make a note.
It took the response to a blog, hosted on the Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet’s site, to finally convince me. Here it is, syndicated by Huffington Post.
I didn’t write the story for public consumption. I wrote the facts down so a good friend of mine who works at the Pentagon could tell Navy senior leadership how awesome the men and women of the USS Dewey are.
In all of the hustle and bustle following the visit, and Bud’s death and funeral, I forgot to send the ship a thank you card. I always send thank you cards.
When I sat down to write out the “Five Ws” I had about an hour to get it done. This story was actually a PDF with a few photos embedded. I labeled it Dewey AAR (after action report) and sent it out hoping the Sailors would hear back from someone in their chain of command and know how much we appreciated their time and commitment to an old man they’d never previously met.
I’m not going to write any more about the visit here. I can’t say it better than I did, don’t feel the need to correct the grammar or rearrange any of the details. I didn’t write it for accolades. Just a simple, albeit verbose, attempt at making sure a group of amazing Sailors knew I appreciated their time and effort.
Imagine my surprise when the PDF made it’s way from the Pentagon back to San Diego. Mandy called and asked if I had seen the email circulating with the PDF. When Kai, the Social Media Manager for SURFPAC, called and asked if they could share it on their blog for Veterans Day, I was hesitant. I agreed simply because I wanted the Sailors of the USS Dewey to have a chance to see their long overdue Thank You.
I’ve long harbored a grandidea of online anonymity; none of my public facing social media platforms include my real name, I’m careful about details, conservative with my “likes” and comments on FB. When she asked for a brief bio of mine to include on the bottom of the post it’s fair to say I freaked out a little bit. I almost changed my mind about letting her share it.
I’m glad I didn’t. This story isn’t about me.
It’s amazing to read some of the comments people’ve left on the various sites. (my friends are sending them to me; I haven’t mustered up toe courage to read the comments) I had no idea so many people would read it and share it and be touched by it. It’s humbling to have my friends send me notes and say they saw the story on this page or that page.
And so there you have it. I’m not a blogger, really. I’m just someone who lets her thoughts escape through her fingertips from time to time in an attempt to make friends laugh, enjoy an experience I’ve had and apparently, cry.
Maybe I’ll learn how to hyperlink and categorize and upload video. Maybe.
They told me this morning the story has had more than 100,000 views.
I hope that means the Sailors of the Dewey heard my (late) thank you.