Well - I have not posted anything since PIR on 11-9-12. Now "A" school "Logistics" is over and our son John just spent the last two weeks at home with us. It was very good to have him home. But now the Hard Part. He left today to go to his first assignment aboard the USS Rushmore that is based in San Diego. The Rushmore is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf area and I think he will go meet up with it. I can't put in words how hard it was to say goodbye this time. Bootcamp and "A" school had timetables that we knew when we would see him again. My wife and I have each shed more tears today than ever. In fact they were our first tears. Now we don't know when we will see him again. It truly felt like pushing the bird out of the nest to fly on it's own. As I drove to work today I reflected on how many mothers and fathers have said goodbye to their sons over history, from the Civil War to the World Wars to Vietnam to the War on Terrorism to now. All of a sudden I did not feel alone any longer. I even remembered when I watched my father board the plane to go to Vietnam when I was 8 yrs old in 1967. He never returned. I am still proud of my father and his heroic service. I am feeling the same sense of pride in my son now. I know I must let go and as the busyness of life rolls along we will recover from today. I am more thankful than ever for modern technology like email to stay in touch with him. We have it so much better than families of years past. Does anyone know if sailors take and use cell phones when at sea? Do the ships have good internet service to email and/or skype? If any of you had similar days when your son or daughter left for their first assignment, write me. Have a great week and may those that have moved on to their great adventure have Fair Winds and Following Seas.