I am old!
Don’t believe it? Well, the first two ships I served on in the Navy were made of wood. (Of course, they were minesweepers and needed wood instead of steel so as not to detonate magnetic mines.) Seriously, in retrospect, my life was-and in some ways still is-the Navy.
I joined twenty one days after my 17th birthday and served as an enlisted man for seven years on active duty and in the Navy Reserves. I loved every second of my service…even the bad ones. About four years after receiving my discharge, while driving down the road, my then wife said to me, “Kenny, I’m tired of competing with your other woman.” To be blunt, I couldn’t believe my ears. I was completely faithful to my wife.
“What are you talking about?” I shouted, quite agitatedly. “You are the only woman in my life!”
“No,” she said. “You have another. It’s the Navy. And I cannot compete with her.”
Six years later, with her agreement, I was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy Reserve as a Theological Student Program Officer. For the next twenty years I served proudly, and thankfully, members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. I even had a short stint with the Army!
It was a contentious time. Political Correctness was the buzz phrase, even in the Chaplain Corps. The Chief of Chaplains travelled the globe having serious discussions with Chaplains about their demeanor, their interaction with personnel not of their particular faith group, even how they should pray in public.
Today, I’m sure things are much different than when I retired in 1999. But one thing remains constant. Faith. No matter what is going on – good, bad, indifferent – faith is the foundation for life.
Why am I writing this in an “About Me” column? Because what you just read IS about me. Also, it’s what I am about.
I am a husband, a father, a grandfather, a retired chaplain and church pastor. I am a writer. I am an American Patriot and Vietnam combat veteran. I am 100% disabled due to my experiences in Vietnam. I am 71 years old and have basically been set aside by society to shrivel up and die. But I’m far from ready for that.
My life belongs to God. As long as he allows me to walk this earth, I will strive to learn and grow and contribute.
This IS what I am about.