CHIEF. SEA DADDY. COB. CAPTAIN. SKIPPER.
These are all names that sailors around the world use to call our leaders. When things go wrong, life goes wrong, relationships go wrong.. We call upon them for guidance. When we overcome obstacles, climb our way up the ladder, accomplish the impossible.. We call upon them for celebration, for approval, for that look in there eye that says "I'm proud of you" It's more than a nickname, more than a title, more than a collar device. unless you've been in, you will never grasp the true meaning and importance Of a United States Navy Leader.
These past four years I've had an assortment of superiors. I've worked for a female CPO that used to scare the sh*t out of me. I'd see her coming down the P-way and immediately do a mental check of my uniform, the tasks I had performed the day prior, the tasks I had performed the day of, the tasks I had in the future. "oh f*ck there's chief. Hair in sock bun, check. Nail polish in regs, check. Belt on, check. Creases crisp, check. Swept and mopped the office, dusted her desk, took out the trash, check check check". At the time I thought she was salty and awful, but in hind sight a lot of what she taught me made me the sailor I am today. My old Command Master Chief off the boat was another strong influence. He was my "Sea Daddy". The one person I'd hate to piss off or disappoint. He was either your biggest fan or your worst night mare. He set the bar high and expected a lot out of us. But he always stood behind us, always inspired us, never stopped teaching us, and heaven help the poor soul who tried to mess with us. He was the type of leader that would ask us to jump, and we'd reply "How high".
I know your probably thinking.. " ok, so you had some great leaders.. Get to the point"
Well, that was the whole point of this journal entry. To remind myself that there ARE GREAT leaders in the Navy. There ARE leaders who aspire to INSPIRE. There ARE leaders who are honest and devoted. There ARE leaders that continue to believe and practice our core values.. HONOR COURAGE COMMITMENT. There ARE leaders who stand behind there sailors. They are just extremely rare and hard to find.
Losing Sean.. My soulmate, the love of my life, my best friend, has been the most tragic most heart wrenching most painful thing I've ever had to endure. After he was laid to rest the very first thing I wanted to do was quit my service to this country. I wanted to quit, move home, be near my family, go to school, and raise our daughter. But I'm stronger than that. I'm not a quitter. Making the decision to fulfill my contract was not a difficult decision to make. I signed a contract and took an oath, it's my duty and obligation to see that through. I'm glad I made the decision to stay in, but I can't help but feel so disappointed in the Navy. .
SEVEN MONTHS. SEVEN MONTHS and I'm still fighting to get the Navy to take care of loose ends that should've, by instruction, been taken care of SEVEN months ago. SEVEN months and not one Person can help fix this disaster. SEVEN months and our worlds finest Navy can't come through on there end for a Widow and her family. A husband, A father, A son, A Broter, was Killed In Action. He Died so that you and I can continue to live in the land of the FREE. And we can't even take care of the ones he left behind? SEVEN MONTHS and his family, along with who knows how many others, have to continue to FIGHT through a process that by instruction should be so simple.
Sometimes I sit and think.. What if I were an E-9 or an 0-6, would things be different? Would our families recieve better care because id have a bigger pull?
What if I was not an active duty widow and I was a civilian widow? Is that where the difference in care lies?
Wherever the issues lie with the Casualty Program, I hope it gets fixed soon. I'm not saying the process is going to be PERFECT. Mistakes will be made and corrected, But that should be an occasional occurrence. It shouldnt be the " norm ".
I hope no other family EVER has to deal with these struggles. I hope leaders begin to take a stand and ensure there Casuality Program is top notch and ensure the families of those that are KIA are taken care of. This blog post is about the NEXT family. This is about our next brother or sister who is Killed In Action. What are we going to do to ensure they do not endure the same Seven month struggle?
"We have many obligations but only one solem obligation.. To prepare and equip those we send to war and to care for them and there families when they come home"
Soul 2 Soul