Take Me Home I’m Spent

Congratulations folks! You are the winners of a breathtaking six-month trip sailing the pacific. In the usual course of events, most people would dive in on the chance to sail the Pacific for free. However, as we are all aware, free doesnt always mean free as I was soon to find out. At the time of this deployment, I was aboard the U.S.S Cleveland serving as a member of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in the United States Marine Corps . Realizing that the taste of fear was rushing though my veins, I soon learned the price of our trip as a SAM site had radar lock on our ship. I soon learned the price of our trip Realizing that the taste of fear was rushing though my veins as a SAM site had radar lock on our ship.
(1)It was another gorgeous summer morning aboard the U.S.S. Steamn Cleve We had merely commenced to sailing out of the beautiful waters of the Persian Gulf. I can remember going out on the flight deck after an early breakfast(,) of fresh fruit and a bowl of corn flakes. I had to get outside to catch what would be my(our) final sunrise in the Gulf. As I did often (often did) with some of my friends. We would watch anxiously as the new day began. Which meant we were one day closer to returning safely to the States and to our loved ones. Who at the time of are return would have be away from us(we would of been away from) for a challenging six months. Six months is the standard duration of a West Pac deployment. Our stops along the way included Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, United Arab Emigrants, Kuwait, Bali, Perth and Hawaii. It was leaving Kuwait and sailing South to Bali were we encountered our life or death situation.

(2)Captain — – —— ordered the petty officer on watch to sound the alarm (for) signaling (for) General Quarters. General Quarters or as the crew called it GQ stood for manning your battle stations. Informed of the situation at hand the Navy personal assumed their respective positions without delay. Every sailor on the ship has his or her own specific task to perform. From monitoring radars, maintaining communication, performing weapon checks to damage control. There are many others as well, each one as important as the next. Each crew member is extremely acquainted with their task. The Captain runs one or two false alarm drills a week. There are a verity a drills to practice. Including fire, man overboard and GQ to name a few. Their ultimate mission is keeping the ship afloat at any cost. Marines on board muster in their respective berthing areas, remain calm and let the sailors carry out their duties. Berthing areas are simply what the Navy refers living quarters. After a brief amount of time the skipper came up over the loud speakers. He informed us that this was not a drill at all but an actual warning. He went on with a brief situation report. Informing us of a surface to air missile site located on the Southern coast of Iraq. This SAM site had turned toward our ship and obtained a radar lock on us. Captain —– informed us that he had contacted the aircraft carrier in direct support us. Notifying them of our situation and asking for their assistance in neutralizing the immediate threat. Meanwhile, in our berthing area we were discussing (the irony) how at one moment in time you can feel safe and secure like nothing can touch you. Then at the flip of a switch you are praying to God and hoping that someone will come to your rescue.
(3)In the war room aboard the aircraft carrier the Captain issued the order to launch two F-18s that were on five minute strip alert. The pilots quickly climbed aboard their fighters and prepared for our rescue. I can imagine the adrenaline accelerating throughout their bodies as they preformed their preflight checks. Fully loaded and ready for any obstacles in their way the best fighter pilots in the world were good(-)to(-)go. Within a matter of

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