Ok, I've come down off my cloud a little bit, lol.
Wednesday night at the "USS Constitution Versus HMS Guerriere Battle Commemoration", I found out that CAPT Kelley, USN (ret), MOH recipient would be speaking to the CPO selects.
The Navy has a program where two groups of CPO Selects are TAD to USS Constitution for five days and four night. We are in the first week, there will be a different group next week. Each week has a different person come and speak to them. There are many other activities including service projects. It's called "Heritage Week".
Now, I have never met CAPT Kelley and the opportunity couldn't be passed up!
So, again, I got there a little early - I'm having a pretty good little streak of promptness (is that a word?). It was being held at the Massachusetts Korean War Memorial. I took some shaky video.
****Warning - You may need to take a dramamine to view my vids. They are bad. I have always had a tremor and it is much worse since chemo.*****
So after I make my vid, I hear the CPO Selects coming from the ship. I film that too, but it is much shakier and at the end when I realize that I am talking to CAPT Kelley.....it all goes to hell. The girls in the office found it very amusing. They said I should post it just so you can "see what a dork" I am, to quote Nic.
So, once we are all settled CAPT Kelley begins addressing the CPO Selects. He talked, he took questions. He discussed his US Navy service and his service as the Commonwealth's Secretary of Veterans' Services. Not to be age-ist....but it's all pretty amazing for a guy who is 70.
His biggest point was that these CPO Selects should be focused on looking out for their Sailors in every way. That anyone can operate or repair machinery, etc. but it takes someone special to mentor, protect, educate the Sailors under their care. He also encouraged them to be brave in their dealing with their Sailors. Brave enough to tell someone when they are doing something wrong. It's tough to look someone in the eye and tell them they are not ready to move along.
Of course I was torn over his advice for the CPO Selects to avoid email, etc to contact their Sailors and opt instead for the face-to-face - (without social media, how can you know how important I am?).
CAPT Kelley also planted a seed for a future blog post. I'll have to do some research, but I hope to write a post about another Sailor that was involved in the same action for which he recieved his Medal of Honor.
Now.....the best part....it was all great, but there was a highlight.
When CAPT Kelley was leaving he thanked the CPO Selects for their service and their time. He wished them luck and recognized the mentor Chiefs that were with them. And as he exited, he looked over and said "Bye Maggie!" My smile was HUGE
I emailed SB -
"It was incredible. Such a privilege. At first it was just PO2 Alexander and myself and he was off under a tree. When CAPT Kelley arrived and he struck up a converation with me before I knew who he was. then he introduced himself. We spoke for a few moments as the CPO Selects came over from the ship. He spoke and took questions. And when he left....he said "Good bye and thanks." and then he looked over at me and said "Bye, Maggie." Sorry, not you, AND Grace AND Jen working together could bring me down to earth!"
His reply -
"How far out the window did you have to keep your head driving home?"
Don't worry, I had borrowed Jen's car.....it's quite roomy!