By Jim Olson, USN, 1966-1969

I remember the first time I saw her,
Sitting there so proud and so bold.
I've been waiting since my transfer,
And there she was, a sight to behold.

She looked very hard and a little mean,
But everything was so polished
And everything was so clean.
She was very pretty just as I wished.

She seemed so wicked sitting there,
With all of those guns raised in the air.
It finally happened my dream had come true.
What will it be like being part of her crew?

I asked permission to come aboard.
And said, "I have orders to report."
The officer smiled, his salute my reward.
He said, "Go unpack this is not a resort."

I finally got all my things stowed away.
And explored my new home and where I would stay.
This is quite different everything is tight.
How will I get thru here in middle of the night?

The beds were all stacked one on another.
All the snoring and teeth grinding, "Oh brother!"
Will I be able to sleep in this mess?
Well, this was my own doing, I must confess.

It wasn't long I had lumps on my head
Those watertight doors were my worst dread.
My shins were bruised and beginning to bleed
It was some time before I would succeed.

Then the day came and we got under way.
The city slipped by in silence as we sailed thru the bay.
Everyone was busy and the ship came alive.
In the open sea I could feel the power and the drive.

I was very excited on my first day at sea,
And I was very sure this is where I should be.
Soon I had become part of the team
And I loved every minute I was living my dream.

We visited new countries and seen different lands.
And great liberty was enjoyed by all hands.
We met many people of nations worldwide
Then again we'd sail at the next high tide.

Lunging thru the ocean at a high rate of speed.
This feeling of exhilaration is hard to exceed.
Even in Viet Nam and during real combat.
It was also very exhilarating yes even that!

I wondered what could be better than this way of life.
It was about that time that I met up with my wife.
My feelings inside were very new and strange
My life was now different and I had to change.

This is not the end, but the beginning of a new tale.
A time when we can communicate, without using free mail.

Jim Olson

Copyright © 2001 by Jim Olson, All Rights Reserved