To Aid or Not To Aid?
Within the crew was diverse mix of emotions. Many wanted to go south and lend a hand. Others just wanted to go home and maximize their time with friends and family with a deployment on the near horizon. The last time I remeber such a mix of opinions was on September 11.
The ship I was on at the time was forward deployed in the Mediterranean, and we watched events in New York and Washington from about noon Eastern Time, as we started the day nursing hangovers following a night of hard-earned liberty in Valetta, Malta. By sunset, a third of the crew of that ship wanted to sail east and kick some ass, another third wanted to go home and make sure family and loved ones were safe, and the last third wanted to do both. I was in the last third.
After over a day of nervous waiting and rumor swapping, we were told to return to home on schedule and get busy fixing the ship to forward deploy on schedule. With Bataan on station, Iwo Jima, Truman, Tortuga, Shreveport and several other ships already at sea and en route, we were satisfied that the job would get done. And, once the holiday weekend is over, most of us will be too busy to debate whether our time would be better spent in the Gulf of Mexico. But for now, it seems that debate is still silently raging in our heads.