Commuting home on a Monday, I knew that the traffic on the second leg of my drive would be better if I stopped by the cigar lounge for a little while. Watching basketball (Golden State won the championship!) this evening at my favorite den of man-dom, it was also a chance meeting for this old Senior Chief to swap sea-stories with a 9th-year Sailor currently on training orders to San Diego.
Though he is an Operations Specialist (OS) on the USS STENNIS now in Washington state, and I was an Cryptologic Technician, any Sailor I know would relate to the conversation; it was observations, opinions and swagger that a solidly capable, mentoring-focused, take-no-b***t career Sailor and I enjoyed that evening. Even though I haven’t set foot, in uniform, on a ship or installation in eight years, the conversation about current events, deployment, camaraderie, and the social and political changes the Navy has undergone, invigorated me. There’s something about watching the NBA Finals with a bunch of guys – some veterans, some civilians, and like this fellow, currently serving, that made a Monday great hangout time.