A few days ago, I had a great visit from an old shipmate on USS Topeka (SSN 754) who was passing through town. (An EM2(SS) when I left Topeka in '93, my friend got commissioned, and is now a Naval Flight Officer on E-2 Hawkeyes
. Quite a career change.) He brought over all the letters he had sent home from the boat's '92-'93 deployment, and I brought our my scrapbook for us to go over old memories. In going through the scrapbook, I saw all the Family-Grams my wife had sent me during those six months.
For those young Submariners who wonder what a "Family-Gram" is (since you have E-mail almost every PD trip), it was a one-way message your loved one could send a Submariner while on deployment. In my day, the wives were given six of them to send during the deployment, and I think they were limited to 50 words. Like most things on submarines, they weren't very private -- the Radiomen saw all of them (and in fact could download the Family-Grams from all the boats on deployment if they wanted). Here's a story
from an old Submariner about how the lack of Family-Gram privacy resulted in an embarrassing situation.
One of our pastimes during midwatches was to try to come up with the worst possible Family-Gram (limited to 50 words). I liked to add the old submarine standby, "The flooding put out the fire". Many submissions involved the wife running off with the neighbor and selling all the Submariners possessions.
What are your favorite Family-Gram stories?