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Mark Sep 10
This far divided land

Where the rice grows free

Has always had corrupt men

Stopping their life's dreams

It's in their veins

It's not that easy

To make it flow on out

For a thousand years

The same has been

Even when a million men

Wearing blue denim jeans

Came marching in

To change our ways

It's not what this is all about

While the people we trust

Pop out of man-made holes

And look like they've been

Tunnelling like moles

Where the enemy lines

Have stood for a thousand years

During the day

We're all so polite

But in the night

We all have to go and fight

The un-invited western men

Always seem to lose sight

Their communist fears

Were ingrained in their mothers womb

And will always end in tears

Where the streets smell of Pho

As you pass on by

And if looks could ****

If you dare to say hi

The aromatic love incense

Wafts in the fog filled air

Where the market crowds come

And traders buy and sell

The lonely planet guides

Write of this unusual smell

The local giggles should tell you

That you don't really belong there

So goodbye Hanoi

This time we can't ignore the flack

I'm going home

And I ain't ever coming back

My wife is waiting

To mend me back in one piece

We've had that awful feeling

Since it all became so fierce

I want to head home so bad

Now they've invaded our embassy

When they don't want our help for a truce

And it doesn't bring the change

That the westerners wanted to produce

So just leave it in the hands of ones own chosen destiny.
To whom it may concern,

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my departure from the Navy. I have noticed a strong desire from the VA for transitional feedback. I feel that if you want to know what it is truly like to transition in the worst possible way I will share my story. Thanks for your time.

I would like to begin by telling you about my experience during service.

I joined the Navy in 2010 at age 27 to better support my growing family and wife of 5 years. To make this happen we had to put all our things in storage and rent out our house in Denver to convince the recruiters that we could financially support the shift into military life. Doing this was extremely difficult. The recruiters at the Aurora, Colorado office did very little to prepare me for joining. I lost my job shortly before gaining a contract at MEPS. Word had gotten around at work after months of me trying to join the Navy and my employer replaced me.

While taking care of a newborn and two year old son I broke my index toe and was delayed another 3 months before going to boot camp in August, even though it healed before I was originally supposed to leave in May. This forced us to move to Florida to stay with family until I could leave. This also was a huge stressor given that I was unemployed for almost 6 months. We sold our cars and cashed out our retirement funds to live with my in-laws. The recruiters at the Hollywood, Florida office were very helpful and made me feel much more ready. They took me to medical to ensure my toe was healed and trained me both physically and on the basics of military knowledge, which helped me, gain the rank of E-2 after boot camp. Boot camp was possibly the best part of my entire time in the Navy.

I attended sub training and eventually landed orders for Bremerton, Washington in March of 2011. This was great because most of our family was in NW Oregon. Adjusting to the crew of the USS Connecticut was very hard. I felt at age 28 that I was dealing with a bunch of boyish men who never learned how to be professional or kind. There were some exceptions but the culture was not healthy. I was assaulted and exposed to people’s violence and ****** aggression. I felt I had no voice and it was much like becoming a prisoner. As we settled into dry dock for the last 3 years of my first tour, I was glad to be home more.

I made efforts to be useful during this time; I did volunteer work, and aided the process of the ship’s overhaul. I was promoted to the rank of E-5 by three years in service. My career was going well but unfortunately going to dry dock is a career killer. I lacked many opportunities for training and felt fairly incapable of doing my job. This seemed to be the culture of most of the crew as well. My first E-7 was much different in the way he handled things than his replacement. The methods I used to complete tasks fell under scrutiny and my new E-7 took me to two NJP’s in 2014 and 2015, the last year I was on board. I felt singled out as many others had been doing things in the same ways. This was hard enough as I lost rank and had to go to shore duty with much less pay than expected. My wife had also had our third son by this time.

Each of our children were given a blanket diagnosis of autism by the child development specialist at Bremerton Naval Hospital, a TRICARE wonder. This sounded great to my wife who became more and more dependent on being a dependent, it opened the gates for a lot of free assistance. My wife did not have to work for ten years and this made her depressed and overweight, which trickled down to me and my morale at home or work.
Eventually my wife became more and more convinced of the need for the extra care of the ABA therapy and respite care provided by the Navy. She swore that she would leave me if I ever left the Navy. I figured she was just being dramatic. As she let herself go, we both fell into poor shape. I had a hard time with my weight and she became more mentally unstable. This home life greatly affected me in all aspects and did not help my work situation. The more appointments that my wife or boys had that I needed to help with, the more grief I got from my superiors. I feel this contributed to the ‘lesson’ I was taught, getting two NJP’s.

The doctors at the Naval Hospital also tried to treat my wife’s periodic depression with Prozac and other anti-anxiety medicine with little investigation. This only seemed to worsen her behavior in years to come. By 2018, we finally got a second opinion and found out that she has been Bipolar for years. The Prozac only made her even more manic and did little to help. She even left our Christian church and became Jewish, dragging our boys along into it. This unstable home situation greatly affected my work life in a negative way.

Shore duty in Bremerton was not much different as I was working on subs. The main difference was working with older retired Navy folks who were even more crass and horrible than the current enlisted co-workers I had worked with previously. I had a difficult time balancing the civilian work environment with the military pomp and circumstance that floated in the foreground. I gained the rank of E-5 back and left shore duty on great terms.
I was dreading going back to a sub as a Machinist Mate so I put in the work during shore duty to change jobs. I gained orders as a Logistics Specialist on subs, once again in Bremerton. I was to attend school in Mississippi for 6 weeks in 2018. At 35, I had just purchased a second home as we had lost our first home in Denver to a short sale because we could not afford to cover the rent and mortgage on military pay. My wife was also spending more than we could afford.

While in Mississippi, I gave a ride to my fellow/junior students and some of them later were caught with alcohol in the barracks. Because I had given them a ride earlier in the day, my name was brought into the story. Instead of taking my gesture of giving them a ride as a good deed, I was blamed for their choices that were made independently of me. I did not purchase alcohol or consume it. The NTTC command seemed to want a scandal and I went to a third NJP. This time I was not worried because I felt I had done nothing wrong. Things for me changed forever by the weeks and months I spent at NTTC in Meridian, Mississippi. I was treated like a monster and second class citizen and held captive from my family in Washington for 6 months.

I kept trying to fight the NJP but to no avail. Eventually I was recommended for a separation from service, as my appeals were denied. Looking back, I should have asked for a court martial because no proof is needed to punish someone during an NJP at the command level. This was even stated to me by one of the officers who sat at my separation board. It is all about what the O-6 feels like doing. Because I now had three NJP’s they could easily send me home but I opted to challenge this, but it only kept me there longer.

Gaining a JAG lawyer, I presented my case and was exonerated of the charges against me at NTTC. This unfortunately did not eliminate the third NJP from my record; it was just to make me feel better apparently because in the end they decided to separate me from service.

By this time, my family was in shambles. My wife who had just been diagnosed as Bipolar was not doing well and there was nothing I could do from so far away. I had no answer as to when I would even come home. Six months is a long time to be away for little or no reason. She could not understand the situation and felt I must have done something worse. It is as if she forgot who I was all of a sudden after 13 years of marriage. I could not wait to get home to start putting my life back together but I could not leave.
I was told I could not do TAPS or GPS in my home state of Washington. I had to take it all online with JKO as NTTC is limited on most things including GPS classes. JKO training for TAPS and GPS was a joke and it did not even work properly some of the time. I just wanted to get home.

I would have much rather transitioned in the place I would eventually be living and working. I was fine with getting out of the Navy by this time but my wife was not. Before I left Mississippi, I was struggling with money so bad that I had to borrow money from my father and take out a loan from Navy Federal just to stay afloat.

Unexpectedly, USAA insurance called me to ask about transitions and to my surprise, they were talking about divorce. My wife had called them and said we were separated. As I looked into her activities, I discovered she had been sleeping with some other sailor, ITS1 Jason Colbert at NCTAMS, Bangor Washington. I confronted him and his command but nothing was done about it. She now is still with him a year later and ITSCS Shinn apparently did not feel he should be given an NJP but that is not my problem anymore. I assumed my wife cheated and blew our money because of all the stress and that it was her condition that made her act out but even giving her the benefit of the doubt, she continued to stab me in the back by ignoring me and refusing to talk about things.
To make matters worse she filed for divorce and a restraining order on July 11th, so I had no place to return to once I left. I had to start gearing up for another legal battle right after another. The stress of this time caused me to lose 50lbs in only a couple months. I took up smoking as I was not allowed to leave base and fantasized about storming the gate to achieve suicide by police. Amazingly, I survived this difficult time away. I left NTTC on 27 July 2018 and had nothing to show for my eight years in service but regret.
I returned to a flurry of legal matters and had to sell my home and my ex-wife was able to gain primary custody of our boys as the court system is very biased towards women. I never once hit her or tried to hurt her but was treated like ****. I never wanted any of this and it makes me sick. Thankfully, friends from my old church took me in and let me stay for 6 months, close to rent free. Another church friend got me a job with a DOD contractor by September 1st. Even though I was taken care of, I felt the military did not one thing to aid in the process. In fact, they hindered my success. I did it all myself or with the help of my friends.

I now am happy to say that I met a neighbor of my church friends and we are now living together. She has taken care of me since most of my income now goes towards spousal support and child support. There is no way another person could have gone through this type of situation and come out of it as well as I did. This speaks to my character and probably all of the horrible situations I had to deal with in the military. I completely understand why vets become homeless and despondent. There has to be better ways to help vets. Family legal services would be a huge help to name one.

I would love to speak in more detail to another human being about what I can do to improve this from happening to someone else. I do not want to see more vague surveys and emails from the VA.

Thank You.
This felt like poetry when I read it to myself. Life can be so **** but I am here to tell you that it will get better.
Nephilem07 Jun 4
Does she look out to sky at night,
whilst i'm a world away,
that we might see cosmic light,
not so far from the blindness of day

For when she sees the majesties,
that i might look upon,
our distance, not so great as galaxies
ever moving, on and on.

I look into the depths
of waves, and space, and thought
every view beheld sharing breaths
in hopes our time apart will fade to but a fraught.
I wrote this on deployment with the navy. Seems so melancholy looking back on it now that my marriage is in shambles.
Drug Sub War
The drug sub became the new menace
Replacing the Toyota engined powerboats
And outdated drug running planes that got splashed
Sleek, able to travel underwater
More than the semi-submersible craft
Using a snorkel like **** U-Boats did
A group of foreign designers made them
Contracted by the drug cartels
To make an almost undetectable vehicle
Costing millions fitted with both low and high tech gear
Like GPS, night and day camera periscope and more
Able to dive at will hundreds of feet below
Remaining silent under battery power
But they didn't realize how persistent the US Navy was
Who specialized in hunting subs and now had a new opponent
Not Red China or Neo Soviet enemy subs hunting American carriers
It was Narco Subs from Central and South America
Each one carrying between one and eight tons of drugs
Pure Class A narcotics to **** North American youth
The US Navy used P-3 Orions, P-8 Poseidens and anti-sub choppers
To find the stealthy subs and take the appropriate measures
Calling destroyers and frigates who chased the subs down
Forcing them to surface with small depth charges
When drug sub crews fought back with machine guns
The navy sank them with all available weapons
For this war war, a war of innocent versus guilty
On the ocean no law court was needed...
Nephilem07 Jan 21
We share a tale,
   of vaulted views
and columned pews.
   With dappled light
through glass bejewelled
    comes solemn rays,
shining down
    on kneeling few
and dusted air.
   Though far between
our different times
   the hallowed halls
our paths have shared
   on shores we've seen,
though separately.
Wrote this in a couple of minutes for some of my colleagues in the Navy.
Amanda Francis Dec 2018
Loving you was like being drunk.
Not love drunk.
A navy sailor forgetting his own name kinda drunk.

Maybe I be a navy sailor, my submarine has surfaced.
Battered ****** from a war you raged.
I can see the sun above the lapping water.

I feel your entitlement crumble away from me.
The sun was never 'yours', neither was i.
This vast ocean was trying to drown you first.

If I would have known, I'd of kicked you off this ship.
Made you walk the creaking of plank lies you made.
My body is a vessel you can not sail! Can not command, Pilot!

My sober head aches, the *** leaches away and gifts me clarity.
I've been drunk this entire time!
My heart is not broken, just hungover!
Niharika Nov 2018
” The freshness is gone the interest is lost
   We portray love just for facebook post.
  The madness decreases, the excitement reduces
  Laden with chore our love ceases
  The sparkle fades and then
   We see the darker shades
  Eating together,sleeping together
  Still isn’t there a silent war???
  This is the person I still adore
  But somewhere deep I feel
  “We don’t talk anymore???”
And here to describe our current situation in the relation I penned down a few words:
We stay miles apart
And you ask if it doesn’t hurt
The agony of missing
The excitement of meeting
Feeling ambivalent
But that’s how it was meant..
The freshness, the madness
The smiles on our face
The gifts the surprises
And our love never ceases
We understand the worth
Only when we are away
And then we look forth
For every passing day..
I cannot see your face
I cannot hear your voice
Then the phone rings
And our hearts make this noise
We tease each other
About having an another,
Enchants of our past
Mysteries of the future
We never fail to pour our emotion
And that’s when we feel we had “The Conversation”
Micah Gerdes Nov 2018
Semper Fortis
Forged by the Sea
The American patriot
Ashore and afloat
The Marine Corp *****
We have the SEALs
And we own you
Kiss my salty seadog boots
For my bro Kevin
Traveler Nov 2018
It's Veterans Day
And I'm still alive!

Some gave it their all
But we all gave a bit too much
Piece' and part's of our mind's and soul's
In need of a social crutch

Red flags that trigger
Faces in the trees
My heart go's out to those who've suffered
In the name of the war machine

I served besides them willingly
Mind open wide
Knowing very well
People were going to die
Testosterone and adrenaline
Is how my late youth thrived
That hell of a rush we were looking for
     Turned out to be
One hell of a ride!!!!
Traveler Tim
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