Part I – From the eyes of a Tin Can Sailor’s Daughter
Being raised in a Navy career family, I’ve developed a sense of duty and pride to shoulder responsibility. My childhood was a mix of consistent moving to new Naval bases but adorned with innocence and imagination. On weekends and during summers, I and my sisters were ordered outside to find something to do. We’d ask for a sheet and make tents across the clothesline along with our tea sets and play pots and pans and other role playing games. Sometimes a neighbor joined our camp-out, contributing “borrowed” instant coffee so we could make our tea sets “grown up.” With permission, Mom would allow me go to my friend’s house a few doors down and we would explore the woods. Discarded construction materials became spyglasses and bathroom tiles were pieces of gold.
During my age of innocence, little did I realize that my father was serving on the sea post-war and pre-Cold War. I was so proud of how handsome he was in uniform. (My husband knows I will turn and admire a uniform to this day!)
After months at sea, he returned with gifts and tales from foreign lands. Mom was relieved from her post on the weekends while Dad made us breakfast. I was told I was eating chip beef on toast—(recently I was told Navy men called it shit on a shingle).
Then, just as we’d settle into a community, the moving van would show up and pack us for the next assignment. Now, as a 55 year old Tin Can Sailor’s daughter, I was honored to be my father’s date at the 7th Annual Liberty Call Goose Creek Tin Can Sailor Reunion. As we drove up to the Hospitality Room, I turned to my dad and said, “Daddy, I’m so nervous.” In typical military protocol, he escorted me with swagger and pride.