The ‘S’ Stands for ‘Salty’

Today was legit. After over 2.5 years, today I finally got the chance to go to the range and shoot a gun for the first time in the Navy. It was pretty exciting. And by ‘pretty exciting,’ I mean it was awesome!!!! It felt just like the America’s Army computer game I used to play growing up. The best part was, during the last round of fire when my 9mm Beretta pistol jammed, and I had to use the RAP-TAP-BANG technique to clear it. I had 4 of my 8 shots left during the 20 second time period. I was able to clear it and get the shots off right before the range master called, “CEASE FIRE!!!” What a rush. I had a couple shots off the silhouette, but most were pretty good. With a total of 206, it was enough to for the Sharpshooter! Expert is 228-240 and Sharpshooter 204-227, so I just made it, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Apparently all that practice growing up shooting pellet guns paid off though.  Hopefully some practice in the future will help me earn the expert!

Killed it!

 

Thank you, Pop-pop.

Today I had the incredible privilege to honor my grandfather during his internment at Arlington National Cemetery. It was an incredibly moving service and one that I will never forget. Especially the presentation of the flag. It wasn’t so much grief, but the flood of overwhelming gratitude owed to my grandfather and men like him that swept over me. The pastor talked about “the greatest generation” he was a part of and the incredible love they had that earned them that accolade. What an example and a role model to try and live up to. Lone Survivor came out the weekend before and the opportunity to see it with my friend Steve set a very reverent and solemn tone for the trip to Arlington. Touring the capitol on his tandem bicycle was definitely another great dose of ‘hooyah.’

USS Mississippi – SSN 782

Finally. After two years of the nuclear power training pipeline, I have reported for duty aboard the USS Mississippi – SSN 782. It feels amazing to be doing what I’ve trained so long for. The boat also seems to have an awesome wardroom and crew. I’m excited about working with them for the next 36 months and anticipating all the amazing things we might get into.

A couple days ago, I had my first meal on the boat – chicken fajitas with some sort of green soup, haha. I thought it was fitting that I got to enjoy it sitting with the COB – undoubtedly his meals eaten on the boat number in the thousands. It was pretty good, especially for $3.95 for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is only $2.15, so it comes out to ~$10/day to eat on the boat.

Another amazing thing I got to do was render honors to the the USS Minnesota – SSN 783, as it passed by us docked at Electric boat on the Thames river on its way to Subase New London. It was an inspiring sight to see it pass by and sound our whistle. I can’t wait until we get underway ourselves!