Friday, November 11, 2011

Celebrate Veterans

A friend of mine, a Chief Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, retired yesterday in a glorious and fitting ceremony.  I was not able to attend as I was in the wrong county at the time, but my husband went and his descriptions of the military traditions that were part of the event was very moving.

Printed in the program from the celebration was this amazing piece:

The Watch

For over twenty-three years
this Sailor stood the watch.

While some of us were in our bunks at night,
my Brother stood the watch.

While some of us were in school learning our trade,
this Shipmate stood the watch.

Yes, even before some of us were born into the world,
this Leader stood the watch.

In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen brewing on the horizon of history,
this Warrior stood the watch.

Many times he would cast an eye ashore and see his family standing there, needing his guidance
and help; needing the hand to hold during those hard times,
but this Father and Husband still stood the watch.

Chief Buck Hopkins has stood the watch for over twenty-three years.  He stood the watch do that we, our families and out fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety, each and every night, knowing  that a Patriot like him stood the watch.

Today we are here to say,
"Chief... the watch stands relieved.  Relieved by those you have Trained, Guided and Led.  Chief Hopkins you stand relieved, we have the watch."

"Boatswain, standby to pipe the side... our Shipmate is going ashore."

Congratulation and Thanks,  James R. Hopkins, Jr., U.S. Navy (ret.)

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