We're off to deploy.
It doesn't matter how many times I have done it, this days always brings the jitters. It starts off waking up at home, knowing that I won't see the people I love for quite some time. I finshed packing all my last minute items and load them in the car. By this time Lynette has already loaded the kids and we are ready to go. Off to McDonalds for one last breakfast together. The kids want the Big Local breakfast platter which has eggs, rice, spam and portugese sausage (we are in Hawaii in case you didn't know).
As I am eating I try to pay extra attention to the kids and let them know things are going to be ok. They understand that daddy has been gone before, but never this long. You see, the last time I did this, I had no children. I can see that Lynette is a little bit anxious, but I know she'll take care of everything back home, she always has and I trust her completly.
We finish breakfast and I need to report to the ship. We say our good byes, and I see my family driving away. My heart sinks and I look to the ship and make my approach. Families are gathered around the ship as everyone is saying their goodbyes. Husbands and wives are crying, Wondering if everything is going to go smoothly. Will she be ok back home? How are the kids going to handle this? Will he be safe on the ship? Will he remain faithful? Will she remain faithful? Most of these fears others have don't phase me. I have complete faith in my wife, for you see we Love each other, and true love never fails. I say a quick prayer for my family and all those famlies in the Lake Erie "Ohana".
Dear Lord, please protect all of us as we deploy. Please watch over our families and comfort them while we are gone. Make sure everyone remains safe as we go out to defend our country. Please guide these Sailors to make the right choices while they are in far away lands. Help ensure we have a safe voyage home.
The ship got underway uneventfully and we are out doing what we do best, drilling, training, and telling sea stories. Once we leave the harbor, no more tears for we have a mission to complete and tears seem to be a sign of weakness. We are all stowing away our personal items we have brought aboard, new laptops, ipods, video game systems, candy. I can't beleive I brought this much stuff and that it actually fits in my lockers.
Dinner: Steak and Potatoes