Thursday, October 15, 2009

A taxpayer's review

Bookie, an early BlogBuddie of mine, does a lot for the Navy League in the Bay Area.

The USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) had the pleasure of hosting her recently.

BZ to the crew - it sounds like they did the Navy proud.
As is always the case when I’m aboard ship, three things impressed me about the men and women serving. The first is how nice all of them look in their uniforms (service dress blue, for this affair). The second is what lovely manners the men and women in the service they have. Now, I know that they’re required to be polite as part of their job, but they do their job well, with grace and courtesy. When I walked down steep ramps or went down steep steps, someone was at hand to give me a hand. And while normally I don’t need help (hey! I’m a martial artist), today I did, since I broke my toe (or maybe two toes) this morning. Even hopped up on Ibuprofin, I was in considerable pain, and changing levels left me unbalanced. Having a nice young man at my side helping out was a real treat.

The third thing that impressed me, and this one is less tangible than how nice Naval people are in both appearance and conduct, is the fact that the Navy has extremely high expectations of the people who serve — and the fact that, for the most part, officers and enlisted live up to those expectations. One of the things that frustrates me so much in ordinary life, especially when it comes to children, is how little we expect of them. Making the transition from a Montessori school to a public elementary school was an object lesson in going from an environment in which children are viewed as intelligent and capable, to one in which they are all averaged out to mediocre and incapable. (Although I must say that our local middle school is extremely demanding.) The Navy, by contrast, demonstrates that people, when called upon to do well and behave responsibly, quite often do precisely that.
How it should be done.

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