I was sitting and thinking, no…maybe I wasn’t sitting…let’s say I was just thinking. I haven’t told anyone the whole story of getting fired. I thought that since I have this blog and I’ve been sometimes keeping people informed on my life and school and photography I’d just write the story and put it out there for you to read if you want, or don’t whatever. Just fair warning, it’s probably going to be long and I’ll probably break it up over a couple of weeks or something just so you don’t end up to bored. Or that I don’t end up to bored.
The first time I ever heard of the ERB…I was in San Diego at the TPU (Temporary Processing Unit, or something like that) waiting to get flown out to my ship. I was there for a couple of days and I hear that there is another dude waiting to fly out to the USS Preble. Now my friend Snively is there as well but he’s just getting done at the ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) base in Point Loma. I’ve known him since Okinawa, we got there around the same time, and to Point Loma around the same time and as fate would have it the Preble the same time as well. Anyway, this other dude. I find him and introduce myself and get his number, after all I’m the highest ranking petty officer and I’m going to start now taking care of my guys.
Before I get to far into the story I’d better finish the ERB thing. In listening to the guys in charge of TPU I realize I need more information because this is something that could affect me. They said they would give me all the information and if I needed anything they would be happy to help me. Of course that was the CO talking and so when I went to find out more information no one had any idea. I kept on trying but there was just no information out and no one knew anything about this…in retrospect it seemed to start out as a big secret and has remained pretty much a big secret through the whole operation. Hmmmmmmmm.
As the days wear on a couple of girls show up, let’s call them Maggie 1 and Maggie 2…Yeah, really. Then a couple of Chiefs show up, now I’m not one to try and shirk my responsibility so I step up like a good STG1 and introduce myself, get their names and numbers and let them know that I am in touch with all our sailors, all 12 of us and that I’ve got everything under control and they just need to do their chiefly stuff and if I need them I’ll give them a call, whew.
One month turns into two, we get the word our flight is ready, even though we have been trying to delay things until the ship actually comes back home so we don’t have to go on deployment. Haha, fat chance. My wife has decided before we even left that she was going to drive back east in the Ford to her brother’s house to spend the summer.
We flew through Frankfurt, Germany. We had 18 hours there and they said, “don’t leave the airport”, ya, right. So we shared a cab into town. As a side note on travel, while we were stationed in England and after several trips to London to pick people up from London Heathrow. I understand that if you only have 18 hours in a big foreign city take the Big Red Bus tour to maximize your time and see the city. After our Big Red Bus tour we sat at a bar and drank the hard apple cider that was a specialty of the area. The waitress said, it was refreshing on a hot day, and that most people think it has a bitter taste but after the first one it gets better. She wasn’t wrong. Seven drinks later I was about ready to go but couldn’t find my shoes, just kidding. We made it back to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
I ended up having to rearrange my bags in line because evidently Ethiopian Air is really strict with the weight of your luggage and I didn’t have an extra $300 to pay for an overweight bag. We arrived at the Ethiopian airport and we to tired to go out this time, besides this time we only had 8 hours. We ate, drank and napped. Let me just say this, I don’t know if it was who they hired at the airport or if it was the crew that was working that day but at least in the airport Ethiopia has some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in person. After such a good nap we were recharged and ready to get to the final leg of our journey…the trip in to Djibouti, Africa. My impressions are, as we flew in I was looking out the window and thought it looked a lot like District 9.
We got our luggage and found a way to get to the base, I think a guy called a driver and a truck for luggage and people. As our luggage was getting loaded it was really hot…at night…really hot…at night…hot…night…darkness…hot…. After three days on the base in Djibouti I now know what it means when someone says “it’s Africa hot.” The black flag was being raised by 0900 every day and you really did walk from AC to AC as you walked around the base. At the base club you could buy two beers at a time but you just didn’t because by the time you got done with the first one the second was already hot, that’s hot, not just warm but hot.
Anyway, we couldn’t leave base so we didn’t. We got a few extra supplies and ended up on an oiler that would take us to the USS Preble. It was comfortable, we got served our meals and I had my own stateroom. After three days we met the Preble and finally were able to end our journey. Well, maybe not the end, let’s say we had reached our destination for that leg of our journey.