I’ve Had The Navy On The Brain Allllllll Day Long…

…Thinking About How It Went For Me.

Thinking About The Wonderfully Amazing Times…

…And The Horridly Horrid Times.

Thinking About All The Good I Did…

…And All The Wretched Things I Felt I Had To Do, Or Was Ordered To Do.

Sadly, It Has Become Impossible For Me To Separate Those Times.

For The Longest Time I Considered Myself A Media Professional.

I Was A Journalist, And Wanted To Be Nothing Else.

By The Time I Left The Navy (under negative terms) I Felt I Was Nothing More Than An Administer Of Propaganda.

I Was Never Ever Never Never Ever Allowed To Write My Stories The Way I Felt They Should Have Been Written.

I Was Never Ever Never Never Ever Ever Allowed To Tell The Story The Way It Should Have Been Told.

Instead, I Was Forced To Write “Happy-Glad” Bullshit.

I Was Actually Informed At One Point That I Was Not There To Write MY Stories…

…I Was There To Write For The Sake Of Keeping-Up The Morale Of The Sailors Who Would Be Reading “My” Material.

The Military And I Clashed…

…And We Clashed HARD.

I Was Waaaaaaaaaay Too Much Of An Individual…

…And They Wanted Me To Be Nothing More Than A Cog.

If You’re Into STAR TREK…

…The Best Way To Describe It Is “They Wanted To Assimilate Me” And Make Me Part Of “The Collective” While I Was Trying To Simply Be ME.

I Didn’t Understand Then What They Really Wanted From Me.

At Least, Not Like I Understand It Now.

We Clashed Because Individuals Are NOT Team Players.

That Was My Biggest Shortcoming.

I Couldn’t Fit Into The System They Had Set-Up.

I Did TRY To Fit In…

…But Found Myself Constantly Chaffing Against Those Whom I Referred To As My “So-Called-Superiors” Within Said System.

I LOVED The Navy.

It Was All I’d Ever Wanted In Life.

It’s What I Wanted To Do.

It’s Where I Wanted To Be.

So It Was Personally CRUSHING When I Discovered It Wasn’t As Advertised.

I Thought I’d Show-Up…

…I’d Do My Job…

…And I’d Be The Best At What I Did.

I Never Expected To Be “THE EXAMPLE” Of Everything Wrong.

And I Made It Worse On Myself By Continuing To Be ME, And NOT Who They Wanted Me To Be.

I’ve Regretted My Service In The Navy Since My Discharge.

I Don’t Regret Being IN The Navy, No.

I Regret Being ME While IN The Navy.

All I Really Have To Show For My Service Are The Lasting Friendships I’ve Been Able To Cling To.

And Those Friends Can All Easily Say…

“Bradley And The Navy Were A Toxic Combination.”

And I Would Sadly Have To Agree.

Life Really Went Downhill After My Discharge…

…And It Has Taken Me A DECADE To Finally Start Getting Things Worked-Out To A Reasonably Successful Level.

BUT, My Peeps…

…There Isn’t A Single Day That Passes Where I Wouldn’t Almost Kill For A “Do-Over” Of The Whole Thing.

I Know How To Do Better.

I Know How To Be What They Truly Sought.

I’d Know How To Be The Sailor I Was Expected To Be In The First Place.

Sadly, That’s Impossible Now.

It’s Impossible Because I Wouldn’t Go Back.

Not Now.

Not Ever.

Why???

Because I Can’t Trust Myself.

I’m Much More Opinionated Now.

I’m Much More Aggressive.

I’m Much More Individualized.

So…

…Even Though I Totally Understand My Mistakes…

…And Know How To Avoid Them…

…I’m Very VERY Sure I’d Make Them Again.

Only This Time I’d Likely Be Even More ME.

If ME Couldn’t Make It Work Then…

…ME Sure As Shit Couldn’t Make It Work Now.

But That Doesn’t Change My Feelings.

Those Feelings That Say…

“I Didn’t Go-Out Like I Wanted, And I’d Love To Give It Another Go.”

I’m Just Smarter These Days.

I Know My Boundaries AND Limitations.

I Know I Wish I Could Make It All Different.

I Know Making It Different Is An Impossibility.

…<><><>…<><><>…<><><>…

…<><><>…<><><>…

When I Sat Down To Write This…

…I Was Planning On Something Special For The Observance Of Memorial Day.

Instead…

…This Is What Came Out.

I’m Unsure If It’s A Good OR Bad Thing…

…I’m Just VERY Sure It Felt Good To Write It.

I Salute The Men And Women In Uniform.

Not Just For Their Service…

…But For Their Understanding Their Mission.

They’re Managing Something I Never Could…

…Even When I Tried My Best To Do So.

Such Is Life, Eh?!?!?

Such Is Life.

4 responses to “I’ve Had The Navy On The Brain Allllllll Day Long…

  1. Wow. First of all, thank you for your service.
    This was really powerful. I don’t know that failure to adapt to military life is really a ‘failure.’ The fact that they were unable to squelch what it is that makes you you speaks volumes for the strength of your identity.
    And you say (I’m paraphrasing) that all you have to show for your service is lifetime friendships. Sometimes, isn’t that what life boils down to.
    This was very moving.

    Like

    • The Friends I’ve Been Able To Keep Mean Everything To Me. They’re The People Who Saw Me At My Best AND My Worst, And Yet I Still Have Them.
      I Wouldn’t Trade Those Few Folks For Anything.
      Amazing People, Fo SHO.
      -BRAD

      Like

    • Thanks For Pick’Up What I’ve Been Puttin’Down… Readin’ What I’m Writin’… Smellin’ What I’m Cookin’, Ya Know?!?!
      I’m Nowhere Without My Loyal Readers.
      And YOU, Sir, Have Been One Of The Most Loyal EVER. Thanks For Always Making The Time To Stop-By And Say Your Piece.
      It Is Very Much Appreciated, Mr. Bill.
      -B.

      Like

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