Sea Stories V – High School Sweethearts and Best Friends

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I made it to my bed (or rack, as it was now called) the night of the Moment of Truth. My division was sleep-deprived for 49 long hours. I’m pretty sure I saw the utensils at the galley swing-dancing in front of me; that’s how tired and cracked I was. In the 49 hours I had been at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command, my division got off those coach buses in the middle of the night, we spent hours getting our gear issued, getting our hair buzzed off, and going through hours of paperwork. On top of that, we ate 5 times at the galley, we spent time cleaning the head, (bathroom) we spent time stenciling our gear, and we received initial medical checkups. It was due time for sleep. The recruit division commanders were giving us 8 full hours of sleep, and our new temporary home was at the USS Red Rover. (It’s not actually a ship. It’s just a building named after one). Lying face up in my rack, I thought about my last day, right before the Navy.

 

I wanted to cry for her to see, but I didn’t as well. It was strange.

 

It was only that evening we were watching Silver Linings Playbook. We cuddled and hugged each other until it was time to leave. We didn’t watch Ant Man with her parents that night, either.

It was only that afternoon we were sitting on the balcony of her house, reading some book about palm reading. I didn’t agree with her choices of what I was in a hand. It was only that morning we went out for breakfast, and we had one of our last meals together. At least the last one I spent taking her out. We switched cars to her driving after breakfast. I felt pretty happy in her arms.

“I love you.” She said back to me, parking the car in my driveway. “I shouldn’t say that, but I don’t know any other love like you. I wish we had more time, too.”

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Throwing Dynamite Is Not A Good Idea

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One of the priests at my church had the craziest hunting story. Hunting in and of itself is already wild enough:

 

I had just bought a new 2016 Jeep Wrangler. My friend Dave, my dog and I were out hunting in Northwestern Wisconsin, around the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse area. We were pretty far into the woodlands as well. Deer season comes around at the end of the month of November, so by this time, the ground was covered with snow, and the air was frigid.

Nearby our hunting grounds was a large frozen lake. We toted our shotguns still loaded, actions open, however. Driving my new Jeep out onto the ice, the three of us wanted to take a break from sitting in the deer blind (camouflaged tent in which you wait for deer to come around) and spend some time ice fishing. Normally, you would use an auger or an drill bit to drill through the ice. After creating a conservative hole, you can then begin to fish. However, Dave had another idea to create a spot where we could ice fish.

 

Dynamite.

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All for One!

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If you have been on Facebook this week, then there is a 110% chance that you’ve already seen this picture while scrolling through your news feed.

 

To anyone who has been living under a rock, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act passed the Illinois General Assembly by a vote of 61-54 this past Tuesday, making Illinois the 15th state in the country to legalize gay marriage.  It will be sent to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, who has previously stated that he would sign the legislation if it passed the Assembly, on November 20th.

 

This new legislation won’t take effect until June 1st of next year, but that just means newly and long-term engaged couples will have some more time to plan their weddings.

 

Am I excited for this? Of course!  The fight for marriage equality in our country feels like another civil rights movement in itself – a long, drawn-out struggle for rights and freedom that should have been granted at birth in the first place.  While the fight for legalizing gay marriage across the entire country still has a long way to go, I think it’s important to step back once in a while and celebrate the victories that have been achieved so far.

 

Chicago ranks #3 for the largest gay population in the country, with an estimated population of over 114,000.  Boystown makes up one of the most unique cultural aspects of Chicago neighborhoods, and the LGBT community is also behind the Gay Pride Parade, the International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and Northalsted Market Days, just to name the most well-known events.

 

Whether you agree or disagree with gay marriage, just answer this: Does everyone deserve love?

 

I think we all know the answer.

 

C’mon, did you really think I wasn’t gonna post this in this blog post?

 

Further information about the passage of the Illinois marriage equality bill can be found here:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/same-sex-marriage-comes-to-illinois-20131107

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-quinn-to-sign-gay-marriage-bill-into-law-nov-20-20131107,0,6334248.story