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Author Topic: New To The Party... (but hoping I didn't miss out on all of the fun)  (Read 4004 times)
Mike
Petty Officer 3rd Class
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« on: July 14, 2014, 04:58:28 PM »

Aloha all,
I've been silently reading through a LOT of posts here and I am sort of speechless at the dedication, devotion, and passion that a lot of folks here have for subs. Ok, speechless at some posts... angry at others (bureaucracy NEVER ends well), but nevertheless my reactions has been pretty much "...wow!" at just about everything. Having said that - thank you all for helping me realize that it's not just me that sees the beauty of these boats and the care you have all shown.

A bit about me: I have never been on a sub underway. Ok, there was that one time with the touristy thing off of Waikiki, but I was sure I was going to die the whole time simply because of my suspicion of the integrity of the crew - ("Did they secure that hatch properly?"), the hull ("Tensile strength...of...is this thing made out of a soda can?"), or the navigational abilities of the guy at the helm ("Ok...I know the YO is out here somewhere... but where?"). By the end of the dive, I was pretty much convinced that I would have been considerably happier diving the route and mooning the passengers... but I digress.
I really wish I could share the moment I first set foot on the Bowfin - but the fact of the matter is that the first visit has sort of blended in with the hundreds since. I also hoped that I could share lamentations of the trials and tribulations of a volunteer helping preserve her for future generations, but that wasn't possible due to the OPTEMPO of our unit in between rotations to Afghanistan and Iraq (twice, but I won't get on THAT tangent either, given the current events there...plus, Politician-Induced-Tourette's is hardly the best first impression to make...)

Continuing on about myself: I've been in the Army for a little over 18 years - most of it spent on helicopters doing all sorts of stuff that I am paying for physically, now. I've adopted Edward Ellsberg as my professional hero, I discovered the most wonderful Scotch - Scapa - due to my fascination with Earnest Cox, and recently planned and executed a trip from West-Central GA to Muskegon primarily just for the engine run last month on the Silversides (I never did get to see where the box of Cream O' Wheat got to, though).
I love to write, I tend to wax poetically about the failures of leadership, and I generally have a handy soap box to perch upon. I do, however, listen very well and enjoy exploring the perspectives of others.
One of my realistic short-term goals is to NOT turn down the offer to "start her up" the next time I am in the forward engine room...
A semi-realistic goal is to draft a paper on what the US Navy taught as a foundation to all sub skippers and what set the stellar ones like Morton, O'Kane, and Burlingame apart from the others given this common foundation...
A semi-unrealistic goal is to be a part of the group to find the Tang. Seriously. I have internal organs willing to be donated to be part of that... would even consider an external one or two.

Well, that's me...
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
Darrin
USS Torsk Volunteer
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 06:21:24 PM »

Welcome onboard and set back and relax and have a tall cool one, you aren't the first Army guy in here either and probably won't be the last. I retired from the Army after a stint in Submarines and yes I was also Attack Aviation and an instructor a the school house.

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Lance Dean
USS Drum Fan
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 11:27:09 PM »

Welcome to the forum. Ya know, my grandpa was assigned to the Tang but swapped with another EM. And that's why I'm here today. Smiley
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Mike
Petty Officer 3rd Class
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 09:26:12 PM »

Interesting to hear, Lance... The Tang is really what started it all for me. I had picked up a copy of "Clear The Bridge" in High School and was fascinated that this whole "algebra/trig" stuff was useful and somewhat cool at some point (don't expect me to be using the TDC on "manual" any time soon, though - forgot a lot of it).

I find it fascinating that there is such dedication out there. These boats were never really intended to last this long, and the fact that several boats have operational equipment is a testament to dedication that borders on "obsessive" (in a very good way, that is). With the good, however, comes the bad - stories of mismanagement, neglect (of both the human and historical assets) that should be considered utterly criminal, outlandishly unfortunate accidents (seriously - open hatches in a rainstorm??).

The point - before I get too long-winded - is that, from the folks that put up with my son and I showing up repeatedly at the Bowfin, to the oil-stained masters of diesels at the Silversides, to the folks posting their efforts and handiwork here... "thanks" is almost not enough.
When my son was 7, we were rooting around the bridge and deck gun of the Parche at the Sub Base on Pearl. I was grumbling about the "forgotten" history and how it was important to take care of things like that. His awesome response was: "So it's there for me to teach my kids about, Daddy?"
Hopefully - and with effort - he can keep from being a complete zombie to the shiny of our current society and continue to be fascinated by the low profile of a Balao/Gato-class sitting pierside in amazing condition... and hopefully, the tales of decisive and courageous men performing admirably under extreme stress will prevent him from following his peers down the spiral of whiny entitlement.

...Crap. I said I wasn't going to get long-winded.
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
Mark Sarsfield
Former USS Batfish Volunteer
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 10:18:58 AM »

Bucketrider, welcome aboard.  You've seen plenty of posts on here about piss poor management.  So, I won't open that can of worms, again.  However, it is sad that some "museums" (term used loosely for certain locations) will hire just about anyone off the street to run the facility, including a police dispatcher, and then not give them any real resources to work with.  I appreciate what every veteran (alive and dead) has done for our freedom, but there are a few that we can't wait to see take "the big dirt nap" and finally get the hell out of the way.  I've actually been told that some vets have said that they don't care if the boat dies with them and they would rather that it did, than cooperate with other people.  Pretty sad.

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Regards,
Mark Sarsfield
USS Batfish reenactor



"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Jim
Former USS Batfish Volunteer
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 11:52:09 AM »

Welcome aboard.  There is a lot to read and a lot of knowledge to glean from this site.  Take some time and read it all. It's worth the effort.
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