Thursday, May 5, 2011
Cramping The Style
The destroyer Chung-Hoon looked the same to Mr. George Beden this morning, but he soon learned of the differences inside. Named for Hawaiian native Read Admiral Gordon Chung-Hoon, nearly 1500 men called the destroyer home in WWII; today, its crew numbered less than 300 and was outfitted with the latest computer technology. One thing that hadn’t changed was “Berthing Room,” where the bed racks still looked like matchboxes, and if you’re over six foot your legs will have to hang off the side! Recalling a story he told us on the second day of our adventure, Mr. Beden said he always wanted to try to get a bunk on top because he didn’t want everyone crawling on his bed during their free time playing cards and congregating to have fun.
After lunch, we were very fortunate to tour a nuclear submarine, the USS Louisville. “We live this,” according to Chief Bransfield. They live this with nearly 150 people in a thirty-five hundred square foot area! We were able to see the Louisville’s four torpedo tubes, but it also has twelve vertical launch tubes capable of sending Tomahawk missiles hurling towards those who would do us harm. These sailors live as our veterans did. They have so much passion for their jobs and have an entire community to support them. It is an amazing feeling to know that we have men and woman who serve our country NO MATTER if it cramps the style of the life they had or have.
Our day ended with the veterans telling us some everlasting stories of their lives during and after WWII. It’s so hard to believe our trip is coming to an end, but tomorrow afternoon we will be winging our way back to campus—a bittersweet moment to be sure.
Liz Wiley and Paul Harloff