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Warning: Some salty language may have snuck past the censors
There was a Navy training film many years ago called “The Lost Sailor”.
The idea behind the film was for Navy leaders to recognize all the things that could go wrong with a young sailor when they first report on board a ship or submarine. The newly arriving boot was probably fresh from school and this was his first assignment at sea. He reports on board and suddenly gets disillusioned when everyone is too busy to pay any attention to him. In fact, the sailor that ultimately takes him to his berthing assignment is a sub-standard sailor who is only available for such duty because he is on restriction. It doesn’t take long for the squared away recruit to turn into a derelict just like his “mentor”. The entire film is based around leaders not letting this kind of thing happen…
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By: Garland Davis
They say the best ships a sailor serves in are his last one and his next one. How many times have you departed a ship feeling the anticipation of something new? A new challenge awaits. Your old ship has become monotonous and a grind and you find yourself glad to put it behind you. Even as your stride lengthens when you walk away, you feel an underlying regret to be leaving. There are men, and, I suppose in our new, ever changing Navy, women with whom you have shared some rough seas and hard times and some of the best of times. You are going to miss them. But this time, you will keep in touch.
But you eventually lose track. As the years and water pass under the keel, you forget names and which ship. You remember the good times. You’ll start a sea story…
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On one of the pages I follow, a question about the USS Ling caught my attention:
“I’m curious What is so rare about this submarine? What is unique about her that justifies saving her over another similar sub?”
My response proved that the spark is still there:
Your question referred to “another similar sub.” There aren’t many left.
Quantifying the significance for things like the Ling is relies on careful interpretation. Most people might look at her and see either an eyesore, “some war thing,” or scrap value. For folks like Paul, the Ling (in its present state) might represent a colossal failure of an organization to either preserve it or relocate it before the point of problematic return.
I see the Ling as a ghost of a former time when people actually were interested in bringing history to their community… either feisty Vets or inspired civilians who campaigned…
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