Patriot’s Point, Charleston, SC

USS Clagamore

USS Clagamore

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to our military for their service. This military and naval museum is home to three ships, the USS Yorktown, a naval aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943, USS Laffey, a destroyer known as ‘the ship that would not die’ and USS Clamagore, a submarine and is the only surviving GUPPY type submarine.

I was fascinated by the whole museum especially watching the helicopters take off from the Yorktown from the vantage point of the Water Taxi. There was dread in my heart as I gazed at the ancient submarine and wondered how anyone could cope with the claustrophobic conditions. I guess when you are fighting at war you just get on with it. When young, I considered joining the Navy (what fear of deep water?) but I think my strength would be in spy craft. My skills lie in noticing every detail (great at an airport), excellent communication skills and a little bit of fairy glamor.

USS Gaffney

USS Laffey

I used to be reasonably fluent in Arabic and a fellow volunteer suggested that I work for the CIA. Since my language skills stopped at ordering a kilo of bananas (mooz) or berating taxi drivers, I think I would be under-qualified. I was going to suggest that my mental illness might be an issue but look at Crazy Carrie in Homeland and Sir Winston Churchill whose black dog (depression) tortured him? I have no fear of dangerous countries so that’s a plus!

Recently, I tried to search military records for my ancestors. My UK ancestors were mostly farmers so would have been exempt from fighting. I found my paternal grandfather’s World War I draft card but no evidence that he served in that war. His brother, my great uncle Earl, fought with distinction in the battle of Managua. My father (or Pinocchio) told my mum that he had flown in WWII but there is no evidence of this, other than in his head. I inherited my fairy glamor from him but he used it for evil not good. 🙂

USS Yorktown

USS Yorktown

Every year I think about the young men and women who have fought in deplorable conditions for wars that seem meaningless. I have met them in a psychiatric hospital and often at the airport. Thank you for serving your country and trying to keep us safe.