Duty on the Fourth of July
I always used to like standing duty on the 4th of July; there usually wasn't that much work to do, the crew would bring their families down, and you always had a great view of all the fireworks up and down the bay (or river). Occasionally, you'd even get celebrities (not so much in Groton -- San Diego was better for that). I remember one 4th on the good ship Topeka, back in 1993. A few celebrities came down from LA, and one of them came to visit the crew of the Topeka. It was -- are you ready for this -- Khrystyne Haje! What, you don't remember her? She was one of the kids in "Head of the Class". Anyway, she was really nice, and looked like she'd never had a pimple in her life. The neatest thing is that after she did the planned visit, and then went to the base celebration, she came back to the boat for dinner in the wardroom, even though she didn't "have to". We talked about how young stars handle their money -- having some money had seemed to have turned her into somewhat of a Republican (at least fiscally).
As I was writing this, and thinking back to the Topeka, I figured I'd see what's out there on the web about some of my shipmates. From what I consider the "core group" of officers I served with (those who were on the 1992 deployment) we ended up with the XO and three Department Heads moving on to command (one of them just finished his command tour on USS Asheville, the other is, I believe, still commanding USS Norfolk). Of the ten JOs who made all or most of the deployment, we ended up with three XOs (one of them still serving) and another who had orders to be XO until the doctors got ahold of him. Of the ten JOs, seven stayed in the Navy after their JO tour -- one who didn't became somewhat
Overall, it was a very good boat... rising up to the challenge of facing the common enemy. (Notice how I didn't say anything nice about the CO we had during the deployment... aka "He Who Must Not Be Named").
Going deep... 'cause our backyard is about to blow up! (The boys are waking up, and I've got lots of fireworks...)