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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Homecoming 1970

We sailed for San Francisco Bay, and our home port at Alameda Naval Air Station in June of 1970. Because Alameda Naval Air Station could not be reached by the general public of the San Francisco Bay Area, the only people there to greet us were glad to see the USS Ranger. Tugboats pulled us in, Ranger theme song blaring, uniformed men at attention on the flight deck, and happy friends and family on the dock. Many of the short timers (guys who had done their stint) and played nurse maid for us boot camps on the cruise, were leaving the Navy. A few of us (me included) were recruited as pack mules to haul the short timers’ gear into the family cars taking them away for good. We didn’t always get along, since living with a bunch of guys you’d never seen before, 24/7 for nine months, does put a strain on the nerves. On that day, all was right with the world. I watched the Navy fall away from those guys like a bad dream, shaking hands and waving to us as they drove off. I knew with the Ranger due to ship out in October again, the adventure for me was not yet over. Boy, was I right about that. :)

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