USS Truxton — what was I thinking?

Last week, my parents told me about an article in the Post and Courier about the USS Truxton coming to Charleston to be commissioned. This ship is a brand new Navy Destroyer so they thought that Colin and Davis might like to go and see it. The paper mentioned 30 minute tours during the two days that the ship would be at port. So (of course) I decided to take the boys. Since I tend to ignore the fact that I’m nine months pregnant, I thought nothing of taking them by myself.


So… we get there and there is no parking. The parking attendant sends me packing and tells me that I can park five blocks away at a neighboring parking garage. He also mentions that there may be a wait of up to TWO HOURS. At this point, there’s no turning back. I have two very excited children who have been promised a tour of a real life Navy warship. I diplomatically point out that I’m nine months pregnant and have a four and five year old with me. Is there anything we can work out? I was actually surprised when he softened his military demeanor and let me park in the restricted area, right near the entrance to the dock!


We then got into a VERY long line. After about 45 minutes, Davis decided that he had to go to the bathroom. I waited as long as I could but the line wasn’t moving fast enough. I finally asked one of the officers to direct us to a bathroom. They told us that the building was locked up and that we’d have to walk over to Fleet Landing (a restaurant a couple of blocks away). Obviously this was not going to happen! I then asked how they would feel if I took Davis to the end of a dock (out of sight of everyone in line) and let him “go” into the harbor. This didn’t go over well either (which I didn’t understand! I mean these are Navy men and women who live on ships and submarines— are you telling me that they would be offended by a four year old “going tinkle” into the harbor??).  One of the port police took pity on us and let us into the building to use the bathroom. This turned out to be a blessing because he then let us go straight to the ship and avoid the rest of the line. Thanks Davis!!


The ship was amazing. The boys couldn’t get over the fact that they were on a real warship. We got to see the place where helicopters land and are pulled under deck, the weapons stations, the launching area for surface to air missiles, the command center and much more.


Needless to say, the ship had many levels. I didn’t think much of this as we were climbing UP the very steep ship-stairs. This became a problem when it was time to come DOWN. This process would have been a dilemma even had I NOT been very pregnant. Colin was very brave and made his way down backwards, like he was climbing down a ladder. Davis wouldn’t have ANY of it. So… on the first set, I said a quick (but fervent) prayer and carried him down. This was VERY precarious. Thankfully a group of ladies and a fellow who I knew from the Chamber saw me do this and came to our rescue as we descended the next four sets of steps. Thank the Lord for sending them our way.


The boys had a very different experience. They loved every minute and decided that they both want to be in the Navy when they grow up. They had millions of questions which the kind crew answered patiently. It was good for them to connect with these wonderful men and women who serve our country. It was a good way to introduce the topic of our freedom in the United States and those who protect that privilege. We now pray for the Truxton and her crew often!


Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:49 am  Comments (2)  
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