We’re on our way out to sea again. I’m back on the ship. This time though, I’m with family. It’s my cousin that I’m aware of the most. He’s where I was. It’s his first time going out to sea (leaving from the port). As the ship leaves, the rest of my division and I are gathered in the hangar bay enjoying the view as we leave the port of San Diego behind. This is an aircraft carrier by the way—the USS Nimitz to be exact.
I’ve had this dream for several years. Each time I have it, it’s farther along in time. When it started—sometime in 2007 I think—the ship was docked. We were in a PIA period (Planned Incremental Availability) undergoing heavy maintenance, upgrades, etc. I was actually out of the Navy (and had been for a while), but I was still there and working on the ship. I wasn’t being paid though. That awareness has been there in every dream—I wasn’t being paid. There’s another constant: I only have one uniform. It’s a pair of coveralls. This time is no different.
As the ship is leaving, I begin to wish that I could leave to go and get the rest of the uniforms that I should have. I know that I can’t leave the ship though. I don’t want to be left behind. The ship has a store that I can go to and buy a few things (mostly more coveralls and utilities), but it won’t be open until we get further out to sea. The thought fades into the back of my mind as I notice wake of the ship. It reminds me of how my I loved being out to sea.
I used to go out on the stern at the hangar bay level and just watch the trail we’d leave behind. Sometimes, I’d go out during flight ops when I wasn’t working and watch the planes land. They’re landing directly above your head in that area, so the disappear from few just before they hit the flight deck.
My attention is drawn back to the others. Suddenly we’re all in our division’s newly renovated berthing (which was being worked on in earlier dreams). Everyone is getting their things in order and I noticed that my cousin and one of the guys that I was actually on the ship with are messing around and getting rough with each other. They’re both pretty competitive—the “play to win” type. I don’t care for or carry that attitude myself, but I understand it. I still find it annoying though.
Now we’re in Air Operations. The competitiveness has made its way there as well. Because we’re just getting underway and there’s not really anything for us Air Traffic Controllers to do until the Air Wing makes its way out, we take the time to relax and have some fun. My cousin and the other guy are playing Street Fighter IV, one of my favorite games. My cousin is beaten pretty decisively. I’m pretty sure he was playing Ken. He insists that he’s the best character in the game. He (my cousin) wants me to play now, but I shy away from it as much as I love the game because I’m better than both of them and people don’t necessarily care for being steamrolled—but the steamrolling is what’s fun for me.
I’m not sure what it all means. There’s a lot that I didn’t get into because the full story is more than 8 years long. This dream was less worrisome than others because I gave me the feeling of being back in a place where I felt I belonged. To this day I miss that life. I really did want to stay, but I also wanted to follow my heart. In the end, my body didn’t give me much of a choice about where I’d be going. I’d like to believe that there’s a purpose for it all and that there’s someplace new that I belong. I still haven’t found it yet, or maybe He just hasn’t shown me. All things in time though, because time and chance happen to them all.
Stand Navy out to sea,
Fight our battle cry;
We’ll never change our course,
So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll out the TNT,
Sail on to victory
And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!
Anchors Aweigh, my boys,
Farewell to foreign shores,
We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night ashore,
Drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more.
Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.
Blue of the mighty deep:
Gold of God’s great sun.
Let these our colors be
Till all of time be done, done, done, done.
On seven seas we learn
Navy’s stern call:
Faith, courage, service true,
With honor, over honor, over all.
Image: USS Nimitz Transiting the Gulf of Oman