While digitizing photos, I came across some pictures that my Navy daughter, Nissa, took while we were on the USS Carl Vincent nuclear aircraft carrier during a Tiger Cruise from San Diego, California, to Puget Sound, Washington.
The Navy was trying desperately to get Nissa to re-up for a second tour of duty and I was given the red carpet treatment by the Captain and Chief. The only reason I was allowed in the “Bubble” on the flight deck was because the Air Wing was not on board for this cruise. After the cruise, she did re-enlist which ended with her serving in Iraq as a policewoman with a bad-ass, drug sniffing German Shepard. This was not what I envisioned when I signed her up for the Nave when she was 17.
Somehow the Chief knew that I loved golf and arranged for me to hit some balls off the flight deck. I found out later that the flight deck was secured because of fog and it was the Captain that approved letting me on the deck. They sure wanted my daughter to re-up badly!
This last picture on the Bridge was taken right after I actually got to drive the boat. I was instructed to keep a bubble between two lines on a dash monitor behind the wheel. The wheel was much smaller than I thought it would be. In fact, smaller than an automobile steering wheel. I tried not to show that my nerves where trying to jump off the boat, but the sweat beads on my forehead gave me away. After a few minutes, I was delighted to give the wheel back to someone who actually knew how to drive the huge floating city in a straight line. Man, they sure did want daughter to stay in the Navy!
After we reached our destination and were allowed to disembark, I kissed the ground and swore never to go on another cruise with my daughter. “This ain’t no pleasure craft” and I gained a ton of respect for the men and women who work long hours to help keep America safe while providing aid worldwide to countries involved in disasters and needing relief. This mighty boat is not just a war machine – it so very much more.
I’m just saying,