We have certainly enjoyed the month of November, a month to recognize and celebrate military families across our country. Of course, Mother Goose has taken full advantage of this time to tell the story of how our particular family became associated with the military.
With two years of training safely tucked under their belts, the twin sons of Mother Goose were ready to be assigned to a ship in the greatest Navy in the world, a Navy which is a Global Force for Good.
And we all wondered….would they continue to serve together or would they be split up and sent to different ships, perhaps even to opposite sides of the country or to different places in the world. Would one brother be sent to a ship whose port was on the East Coast and the other sent to the West Coast? Would they be attached to submarines (oh dear…) or to aircraft carriers? Both vessel-types operate on nuclear power, but which would it be?
The Navy does ask their sailors which they would prefer, subs or carriers. They also ask your preference of ports. And then they go ahead and make their own decisions which basically have nothing to do with your personal preferences.
“Because it’s the military, Mom.”
Yes, of course.
Strangely, nobody asked the guys if they wanted to be stationed together anywhere. Maybe nobody in high command knew they were related, let alone identical twin brothers.
ANYWAY, the word finally came down and it was a good word.
The two petty officers would be both attached to the powerful and mighty aircraft carrier, The USS Abraham Lincoln.
Yes, Mother Goose jumped for joy and flapped her wings in a great display of thanksgiving that her sons would not be separated but would serve America side by side on a beautiful ship ABOVE the water.
And off they flew to Norfolk, Virginia and then to Newport News, Virginia.
The USS Abraham Lincoln was commissioned on November 11, 1989 and has been in active service around the world since that time. It is a nuclear-powered vessel — a Nimitz-class carrier with two reactors onboard. It’s length is 1,092 feet and when fully boarded, it has a population of about 5,000 people. WOW!
The ship came home to port in the fall of 2012 for its half-life refuel and complex overhaul. My sons were on the ship when it was brought up the James River from Norfolk to Newport News earlier this year and hauled into drydock there. The RCOH (refueling and complex overhaul) will take nearly four years.
So the guys got a really nice apartment together, and everyday they go to work at the ship, working with all the other sailors and contractors to get the ship ready for the rest of its life. The culture of a drydocked ship’s sailors is basically one of working and serving and playing together. There is certainly a sense of teamwork and even family. Each individual is important in the grand scheme of things — each person’s work has purpose and meaning.
Mother Goose is proud to say that her sons did receive a bit of recognition for their “twinity” — the ship’s public affairs officer found out they were twins serving together and interviewed them for a news article which was then published in the Penny Press, the newsletter for Lincoln Nation and families of the sailors.
Yes, Mother Goose was completely bursting her buttons with pride when she found out!
And then our local newspapers found out about the Penny Press article and ran their own local articles in the western suburbs of Chicago where my guys are from. Pictures and publicity for my precious sailor sons — can it even get any better in the life of a Navy mom?
My sons may never get out to sea on the USS Abraham Lincoln — their term of service will expire before the ship is sent back out into the briny waves, protecting our freedoms and keeping us safe around the world. I would hope that they might be standing at the rails when she leaves Norfolk again for great adventures abroad, but if they are the sailors who refueled her and gave her a mighty makeover and never sailed with her, then I will stand proud of them for their service.
Flapping and honking with great pride, and with wings lifted in great Thanksgiving, Mother Goose wishes you a wonderful and warm holiday wherever you are and whoever you are with today. Hugs all around!