“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
After arriving in San Diego and getting my gear stowed in my living area, I went to the base bowling alley, grabbed a pitcher of beer, and sat out on the patio talking to the love of my life at the time on the phone. We talked for the remaining hours before curfew expired and I had to board the ship for the last time in the U.S.A. for a minimum of six months.
The following day, we draw anchor and head out of Coronado Bay enroute to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Once you get off the coast about 5 to 10 miles there are no more cell service for days. Luckily we still have email access and sporadic internet access if you are in a mission critical job. The deployment went on and as the weeks passed the contact with my lady love became less and less. The decline in communication kept dwindling until I received an email from my neighbor across the street. The report was that there was a different car in the driveway nearly daily when he went to work and many times, it would still be there the following morning as he would leave for work. I kept sending the emails and calling when I had the chance. The payphones onboard the ship were famous for not working properly. Even when they worked properly, they charged $1 per minute. The majority of that time was ate up asking for the person to repeat what they said due to all the static and delay involved.
I was filled with rage and somehow refrained from choking the living-hell out both of them and went to another bar to drown my sorrow. This is a pretty familiar situation for many of the men and women that serve our country. Sad but true.