Steam Into The Storm

Posted: April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

A Message for the Gardendale Accountability Project

Steam Into The Storm

As a young sailor, I was stationed aboard the world’s largest warship, U.S.S. Enterprise. Weighing in at over 90,000 tons with a compliment of over 100 aircraft it was one of the world’s most powerful machines of war. Carrying conventional and unconventional weapons, this one ship could destroy a nation by itself. We were in port at Subic Bay, Philippines. Near a town called Olongapo. Over half the crew was on shore leave when bad weather brewed. One would think such a large and powerful machine could easily withstand a storm in port. A typhoon was approaching the Philippines. What did we do? Did we tie up extra lines, and batten down the hatches and station extra watches about the ship to look for damage and leaks? No. We did the only sane thing the captain of an aircraft carrier could do. We sent out a call for the crew that was out on leave to return to the ship. I worked in reactor engineering. We received orders to start up the nuclear  power plants. We were getting underway. By the time six of the eight atomic reactors were operating and producing power, we received orders to leave port. A thousand men had not yet returned from shore leave. We left them behind. The ship was pushed by the tugs into the harbor. The bridge rang up a one third ahead, and we steamed out. (To ‘steam’  in modern navy parlance means to apply steam to steam driven turbines making the propeller rotate and producing thrust. A Navy nuclear reactor simply boils water to produce steam) You see, Contrary to what you might think naturally. A ship that large is safer at sea. Staying tied up to a pier during a storm could mean blowing the ship into the pier, damaging the pier and the ship. The navy learned early on with its warships that it’s safer to be at sea during a storm than at port. A decision was made for us to steam into the storm. Many times in life we seek shelter in storms, when we need to steam into them. There is safety in a storm. You know what’s coming. You know how to handle it.  With sufficent power you can get through it. What I intend to do when I return home and resume my duties with GARDAP is help us keep in focus that we are strongest, most stable, and most safe, when we see a storm approaching we should run towards  it. As a member of our group I intend to help us stay focused on the task that lay before us and whenever possible, using wisdom, to run to the battle and to steam into the storm. That is where we will be strong. And that is where we will win. I’m thinking about you all every day, and still at a loss for words to express how much you mean to me.

Your friend,  
Dan Boggs. President, Gardendale Accountability  Project,  Inc.

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