Tiger Cruise Update 4 of 5

7:05pm 05.31.08

From Tiger Cruise

Well I’m sitting in the First Class Mess again. The end of another long day. We were up early this morning (somewhere around 6am) and at 7am we set the clocks ahead, again.

Today I took a couple more tours that were really good. Mess Deck & Medical / Dental. The Mess Deck tour was very cool – I mean I’ve spent a lot of time on the Mess Deck, mostly in the First Class Mess, where there’s only about 6-8 people rather than the 100’s in the regular mess. But today I got to see the Chief’s Mess, which is about 3x as big as the First Class Mess, plus they have a lounge with a big wrap around couch, desk, etc. Then we got to go into the Officers Mess, which is like 3x as big as the Chief’s Mess, and way nicer, plus they have their own lounge as well, bigger and nicer than the previous. The Officers get served “restaurant style” while the rest of the crew does the cafeteria thing. It pays to be higher ranked! There’s a lot of tradition in the Navy, the separate mess’ being one. Another that I learned about is that the Captain & the XO have the seats at the head of the large table and the chair to the right (respectively). Even if the Captain & the XO don’t sit in those seats, no one else does – they are reserved for them no matter what.

Next we hit Medical / Dental. This was another great tour. I’m entirely too tired to write about all that I learned, but one thing that really impressed me was how the ship’s personnel (the blue) work with the Marines (the green). Marines have Corpsmen who are responsible for their platoons – they travel & fight with them, but they are also their “doc”. And on the ship, the Corpsmen work like EMT’s for the ship’s doctor. Pretty cool how things are setup. They seemed to gel very well. Another important point: the ship’s dentist was also responsible for setting up the Tiger Cruise – Thanks!

Here’s some pictures of the Mess Deck & Medical.

From Tiger Cruise
From Tiger Cruise
From Tiger Cruise
From Tiger Cruise

And so we are getting very close to being home. You can feel the anticipation on the ship; people are ready to get off & see their loved ones. I’ve only been gone for 5 days and it feels like forever. I miss the kids – miss playing with them, praying with them every night before bed. I miss Jen the most. Something interesting I’ve learned on this trip – almost everyone I’ve met is either going through a divorce, or has had one. And most of the people I come in contact with here are my age or younger – and there’s always kids involved. It’s very sad. My heart hurts for these people. I talked to a friend of Chris’ who is currently going through a divorce and you can just sense the pain and hurt.

This has really caused me to realize just how blessed I am to have such a loving and faithful wife. I know there’s nothing I’ve ever done to deserve her, and she is deserving of more than I could ever offer her. Jen, I love ya and can’t wait to see you in 31 or so hours (I know this because James is behind me and counting down). Oh yeah, I had a great conversation with him today – he goes to North Coast church in Vista. We’ve had some great conversations and hopefully we’ll be able to hang out once we get back.

One thought on “Tiger Cruise Update 4 of 5

  1. Chris Stout

    Alex you’re right. The military divorce rate is well over 50%. The Fleet and Family Services Center has launched a lot of work shops recently in hope to bring it down and initial outcome looks good. We’ll see.

    Basically, its usually just kids right out of high school with raging hormones that get married for one reason or another. A deployment or two later and the have “buyers remorse.” OR what happens in a military marriage, the service member spends a lot of time away. Then when they come home, nobody can stand having each other around. Ah, I’ll just blog about it when I fix my blog…

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