"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

David Westfall: Christmas

I wish I could share a Christmas memory with you here that would make a difference, but I don't have any. Being based out of Hawaii, I hadn't been home to see my family in a few years. I was single and there was not a special lady in my life.

Christmas at sea was just another day. You got up and you went to work. Oh, maybe the food was a little better. The ship's Chaplain said a little longer prayer over supper. You wished you had something to open, but not many did. You wished you had something to send home, but the ship's store really didn't carry much.

I guess over the years, I pretty much became numb. I was in from 1983 to 1995, and I never once made it home to Ohio for Christmas. Actually, in that entire time, while on active duty, I only got home twice. Once was in 1984, before I transferred to Hawaii, and once in 1988. It wasn't that I didn't love my family. It was because I was the perfect military man. The mission always came before all else, and there was always a mission.

I would like to say that now that I am older and wiser, that I would have taken the time to try to get home for Christmas, but I know that wouldn't be the case. I would have either been on deployment or getting ready for one. It was my job, my duty, my life.

My relationships with my siblings have suffered, due to my indifference while in the military. I don't think they (our relationships) will ever be what they used to be. Such is the price one sometimes pays to serve his country.

Merry Christmas all.
David Westfall

***Thank you, David. What you wrote is just as good as a memory, my friend.  If everyone would share like you have shared, ah well, I know the world is not a perfect place, but you understand. Thank you again.
Your friend always,

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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  1. Hi David,
    It was nice to see a photo of you and I enjoyed reading about your experience over holidays spent in the military. If you remember me, I'm the girl who met you so many years ago at the Columbus MEPPS station as you were about to enter the Navy.

    It would be great to hear from you after so much time has passed.

    Becky Pargeon

  2. Hello Becky,
    Thank you for visiting Memoirs and for your comment. Just in case David didn't see it, I sent him a note, telling him about your comment. He'll probably contact you.
    Happy New Year!


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