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Of course my thoughts are with both OT and John, but with OT's permission, (and I think she'd approve) I'd like to approach this from a different perspective.
John and I (and JR too ~ maybe some other folks out there also) are members of a unique brotherhood/sisterhood. We are retired Navy Chiefs. Chiefs of the Naval Service (includes the Coast Guard) are more than merely the senior enlisted of a military service. We carried different responsibilities. That's one reason why we wore a different uniform than the rest of the enlisted sailors. 'Ask the Chief' is a household phrase, both in and out of the Navy. We were those Chiefs. We endured a unique initiation and swore an oath to forever honor the ethics and integrity of the Chief Petty Officer corps and the Naval Service. Although we've never met, John is my brother as I am his (and JR too).

This is for John: In my mind's eye I am standing at the Quarterdeck and saluting.
"Permission to leave the ship is granted. I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas. Farewell, Chief, You served with honor and now you stand relieved."

If The Gathering allowed the posting of midis, I would post the Navy Hymn now.(also known as Eternal Father)
If you'd like to hear it go to:
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/5922/fi03002.htm

With OT's permission, I would like the honor of posting his name on that page at the appropriate time.



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