Saturday, June 24, 2017

Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead...

USS Fitzgerald, DDG-62
Unless you've been living under a rock, or have been off-planet, for the last week or so, you probably know of the incident where a civilian ship collided with the Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, USS Fitzgerald. Resulting in the loss of seven sailors of our Navy. (You can read about one of the latest reports on the incident here.)

I often tell folks not to fret about the future of this great nation of ours. When we have kids out there in the fleet like these, I am confident that somehow, we'll be alright. (I call them kids because I'm ancient, not to imply that they're children, they most assuredly are not.)

They were a cross-section of the good guys out there, in the Fleet, the Army, the Marines, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard. They're the kids down the street helping out an elderly neighbor, they're the kids studying hard to make something of themselves, to contribute to society. There are more of them than there are the asshats the MSM likes to celebrate. But I digress.

I test combat systems, Navy combat systems. While in our computer lab the other night, I looked up to see what one member of our team had put into the scenario we were running, that's when I see the symbol for a friendly surface track, with the label DDG-62. Gave me pause that did. When I brought that to the attention of the team, yeah, moment of silence time.

I haven't posted on this yet, don't know why. That incident in the lab was, to me at any rate, a sign that perhaps I should. Friday I started looking into the details behind the story. Who was the ship named after for instance. Well, let's call this sign number two -
USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), named for United States Navy officer Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald, is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the US Navy. W
William "Bill" C. Fitzgerald (January 28, 1938 – August 7, 1967) was a United States Navy officer who was killed in action during the Vietnam War, while serving as an advisor to the Republic of Vietnam Navy. He received the Navy Cross posthumously for his role in fighting off a Viet Cong attack. W
As for sign number two, LT Fitzgerald was a fellow Vermonter...
Fitzgerald was born in Montpelier, Vermont, the second child and first son of Louis and Mildred Mary Fitzgerald. His father was a career Navy man who retired as a Chief Petty Officer. Fitzgerald grew up in the local area and graduated from Montpelier High School in June 1956.

Following graduation, he followed in his father's footsteps and enlisted in the United States Navy. As an enlisted sailor, Fitzgerald served on USS Samuel B. Roberts (DD-823), USS Hugh Purvis, and USS Gearing. Fitzgerald also served with Utility Squadron Six at NAS Norfolk, Virginia, while working on the Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) program.
I recommend that you read more about LT Fitzgerald here, seems the Naval Academy does not forget it's graduates who distinguish themselves.

Here's a fellow you should know, and remember: Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr. -

There are a lot of stories floating around out there about his actions during and after the collision aboard "The Fightin' Fitz," if even half of them are true, FC1 Rehm deserves this -
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal
Extract from SECNAV INSTRUCTION 1650.1H -

FC1 Rehm sounds like my kind of guy. A petty officer devoted to the Navy, the mission, and the sailors he was responsible for. "His kids," as he called them. The kids he died trying to save. Dear God, where do we get such men?

That's this old sergeant's two cents. For what it's worth.

Fair winds and following seas men, Rest In Peace -

  • Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia
  • Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California
  • Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut
  • Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California
  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland
  • Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio.
You will be missed...

I will hold you in my heart. Forever.


  1. Couldn't agree more, Sarge.

  2. Thank you for this Sarge. God bless them and their families.

  3. Thank you for making these fine Americans better known to me. I also agree with what you wrote.

    Paul L. Quandt

  4. The answer to that question is that we get them from the humanity warehouse. They're not fundamentally different from any other human being. They simply made a decision to do some non-selfish good stuff for their fellows. This and similar examples -- not limited to military sacrifice either -- should be causing Americans to take increased devotion to the cause for which they sacrificed. Doesn't appear to be happening though.

  5. Many of us take for granted the sacrifice and risks these men take on even when not in combat protecting our nation. This incident is a bit of a wake up call.

  6. Hooyah Sailors. I've got a 19 year old Sailor and a 24 year old Sailor. They knew one who survived the collision from A School and Boot Camp last summer 2016. Navy Family. To the families of these Sailors, your sacrifice is also not forgotten. You serve too. Your grief is our grief, but clearly to a much lesser extent. We can hardly know what you're going through.

  7. We need to honor all the crew. When it mattered, they didn't shirk, but did their jobs.

  8. This is how we should be reflrcting on the tragic incident until the official inquiry is completed.
    We should also say a prayer for the surviving crew, who are missing shipmates.

  9. The Lord is my pilot, I shall not drift.
    He guides me across the dark waters.
    He steers me through deep channels.
    He keeps my log.
    Yea, though I sail ‘mid the thunders
    and tempest of life,
    I shall dread no anger, for He is with me;
    His love and His care, shelter me.
    He prepares a quiet harbor before me.
    He anoints the waves with oil
    My ship rides calmly.
    Surely sunlight and starlight
    shall guide me on the voyage I take,
    And I will rest in the heaven's port forever.

  10. Eloquent, thanks. So many to remember ln my lifetime. Sadder and prouder most every day.

  11. Greater love hath no man.....

  12. Very moving Sarge,

    I followed this thread
    "I recommend that you read more about LT Fitzgerald here, seems the Naval Academy does not forget it's graduates who distinguish themselves."

    It also seems that the Naval Academy does not forget ANY member that attended who distinguished themselves, there is a category of non-graduates


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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