Seven months and three days ago, the USS Carney set forth upon a naval deployment to the Arabian Gulf. Today, she returned to Mayport, Florida bearing myself and over three hundred of my shipmates.
For me, it is a bitter sweet homecoming, as this has been the final deployment of my naval career. Never again shall I sail into harms way, not know when or if I shall return.
To many, this may not sound like such a bad idea, but to one such as I, the release of this burden is heart wrenching. To date, I have lived more days in service to my country then not; it has consumed almost my entire adulthood.
I cannot explain my reasons for dedicating my life to service. It is simply who I am. I do what I do, because I can. The sword is weighty in my hand, but even more so in my heart. As many have paraphrased George Orwell to say, “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Orwell’s actually quote was a bit more crass, but his meaning was clear.
I still have many tales to tell from times abroad, but those stories will have to wait for another day. Today, I’m home.
St Crispin’s Day Speech
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.