Thanks for all of your encouragement. You probably remember when I was in the Navy and I occasionally found myself in trouble. You probably remember because it lasted for a couple of years. When I decided to turn over a new leaf, it was hard because not everyone was convinced that I was different or that I was convicted about a new lifestyle.
When I found myself faced with captain’s mast again in the spring of ’98, I was pretty defeated. I called you from the ship. I just needed to know that whatever happened I had somewhere to go and someone to talk to. When I went in front of the Executive Officer, he informed me, after a brief silence in which he looked me in the eyes and seemed to be evaluating me from the inside out, he said, “I just got off the phone with your dad.” He even said “dad” which I remember clearly. I was shocked. He didn’t really say anything else about the conversation, but after he said that he had talked to you I felt as though I were not alone in there, that there was someone representing me, although my division officer was standing next to me providing his own version of support.
I went to captain’s mass that day, and ended up with a suspended punishment. I learned much from that whole experience. I was a little more connected with home, and I was a little more steady in uncharted waters as I finished my term of service and returned to college. You rolled your dice making that phone call, and it turned out well. We have had our successes and failures as father and son, and I can remember some specific situations that I am particularly embarrassed about, but I think overall I have found that I am encouraged and embraced by my family. Thanks again for giving me some of the tools that I will need now to press on.
I am proud of my dad, too.