I am a United States Sailor.
Tomorrow I will put on my uniform for the last time.
I will lace up my boots, tighten my bun, tug down my cover and drive to base for the last time.
I will be addressed as Petty Officer one last time.
I will say goodbye to the world I have known for the past four years.
I will walk away from an experience that has changed me in ways I could never possibly put into words.
I will try to Sailor-up as I break my own rules and hug Sailors that aren’t just co-workers anymore, but have become family.
I will wish my junior Sailors luck as they go forth in their careers and I will drive away from base one last time.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
The past four years have been such a learning experience. I was not an 18 year old new recruit. I was the old lady in boot camp and I had to adjust to the fact that “those appointed over me” were often much younger than me.
I was guided by Chiefs that presented a hard exterior to the world, but that would bend over backwards to assist their Sailors when they were in need.
I had mentors help shape the type of supervisor I have become and pushed me to achieve more than I thought I could. I deployed on a carrier and was part of Operation Enduring Freedom. I helped make sure that those back at home were able to sleep easier knowing that someone out there was protecting them.
I worked with Officers than never dismissed the enlisted Sailors as “less than”, but instead went out of their way to encourage them. I was proud to work for the people I did and I will always remember the lessons they taught me about discipline and dedication.