A MEMORY FROM MY PAST
It’s Christmas Eve in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The temp. is in the low 80’s and I have been assigned to stand the 8-12 watch on the pier to guard the ship. Dressed in my Dressed Whites and my night-stick to walk the pier in front of our Destroyer to challenge all who should not be there. The ship is lit up for Christmas Eve with a string of lights from the Main Mast to the Bow. Lights from the Mast are also strung down to the Stern. Other ships are also decorated in similar fashion. There are about 6 other ships the same way.
I go out onto the Pier and start my patrol. Not many Sailors on board. Everyone else, except the Duty Watch, is “on the beach.” Not me, along with many others that have to stand a watch. It’s warm. Something that I’m not used to for Christmas. This is the first time I’m out there on my own for Christmas. It’s lonely out here.
There is no one to talk with. Just walking up and down the Pier alone with my thoughts of Home. I’m wondering how my friends and family are doing tonight. What they are doing. Is it cold and snowy in Fleetwood? Everyone is probably getting ready for Christmas Day. I think of how lonely it can be. Starting to get bored with this watch thing. I wanted to just leave and go home, but no chance of that. It would not be a good idea.
Christmas away from home can be a very lonely time. When you are on your own for the first time and away from what you are used to. In a foreign land that you have never been too. Everything is lit up for Christmas and it’s 80 degrees. It was something all new to me.
December 26th,1965, our ship left Pearl Harbor for Vietnam.
Happy Holiday’s to all