Mother Goose with her family in tow reached the U.S. Navy frigate, USS De Wert, in the nick of time. We waited for the other passengers and tourists to disembark the water taxi and embark the military ship, and then tried to find our sea legs as we climbed the accommodation ladder (a ladder suspended over and inclining down the side of a ship to facilitate boarding the ship from boats).
Looking up and trying not to fall overboard, I was beholden of our beautiful stars and stripes — a fitting start to our tour of the ship.
Glad to know we are with fellow Americans.
As you can easily discern, once aboard the USS De Wert, Mother Goose quickly learned Navy lingo. And also because I am a goose, I immediately began searching for the rest room. Mother Goose even asked several sailors and tourists, “Where’s the head?” They were more than happy to show me — because I was using the correct terminology for ships and other watercraft.
There were brass plaques and signs throughout the ship, explaining the history of USS De Wert as well as departments onboard.
Of course, another question I asked the sailors was “Who is this ship named after?” And they were more than proud to tell me that story. The frigate was named for Hospitalman Richard De Wert (1931–1951). De Wert was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism while serving with the 7th Marines during the Korean War. Though wounded twice in battle, he continued to go out into the enemy fire to rescue other injured Marines. He was killed in action saving a friend.
Twenty-year old Hospitalman Richard De Wert was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for acts of valor during the Korean War.
A helicopter landing pad near the stern of the USS De Wert.
Mother Goose asked if a helicopter could actually land on this warship. “Yes,” replied the ensign who was acting as our official tour guide. “In fact, we even have two helo hangars.” And then she showed those places to us. By the way, it is more “navy” to call them “helos” so from now on, Mother Goose will be using that word…
As a naval warship and anti-piracy craft, we would expect to see some weapons. We saw quite a few mounted along the rail of the ship.
This is a real gun. And the real husband of Mother Goose…
We also saw guns slung across the backs of several uniformed sailors.
A real sailor talking with the real husband of Mother Goose.
Mother Goose asked, “So where do you keep the big guns?”
Navy Ensign with the sweet white cover showed us the big guns.
Here’s the back of the mounted machine gun. Very powerful weaponry, friends.
Bad guys, beware!
M.Goose in the bow of the boat. Perhaps she is dreaming of joining the U.S. Navy and seeing the world… So many ports, so little time…
USS De Wert, a powerful Navy ship with an excellent crew of sailors onboard. Land ahoy! There’s the great city of Chicago on the horizon!
Mother Goose had one last question. “Do you know how many sailors there are in the U.S. Navy?”
The good folks at Wikipedia were proud to answer that question: The service has 321,053 personnel on active duty and 106,188 in the Navy Reserve. It operates 286 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft.
Please remember to pray for our servicemen and women on the land and on the sea and in the air — don’t forget that there’s still a war being waged in Afghanistan with American sons and daughters dying everyday in the name of freedom.
According to this Associated Press report, “In July, 40 U.S. servicemembers died in Afghanistan in the deadliest month for American troops so far this year. At least 31 have been killed this month — seven when a helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in what was one of the deadliest air disasters of the war. Ten others were gunned down in attacks from members of the Afghan security forces — either disgruntled turncoats or Taliban infiltrators.” http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/22/americans-tune-out-afghan-war-as-fighting-rages-on.html?ESRC=eb.nl
Since the war began in Afghanistan in October 2001, we’ve lost 2,000 men and women.
Isn’t it time to bring our soldiers home? Enough is enough.
Love, Mother Goose