Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dear Jon - Advancement June 8, 2012

US Navy, Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, June 8, 2012: Jon Kane is awarded the rank of Petty Officer III in a formal frocking ceremony...  

While I slept.

If he were a 'little closer' (i.e.:  in ANY of the 57 states) I would have attended, but given the distance, the time change, (the cost - yeah, I'm cheap), and the desire to keep my job, yes, I missed it.

I was with my boy 'in spirit' (astral-projecting at the time) even though I was not physically there.  Come to think of it, my wife says, that I am often, 'Not all there'.  

What DOES she mean?

He is joined by others onstage for the event as they sing the Navy Standard...  "Anchors Aweigh".  

This is odd, as prior to Boot Camp, I never saw him so much as lip-sync a Beatles song.  

However, while driving on trips, around town, or on the way to the store, he and his two brothers would often ask me, "Dad, could you please NOT sing?  Please???"

Yeah, these kids have an 'ear for music'...

Following the ceremony, while 'Skyping', Jon told us that he got his 'crow' during the ceremony.  This, apparently, is a term of endearment for the symbol now on his uniform (also known as the American Eagle). 



And, of course, he sent a photo of his updated ribbons (so his crow wouldn't be 'lonely'?) to me and his Mom.

There were other photos from the day, of course, there were photos of other sailors getting their obligatory handshakes and a large toothy smiles from the commanding officer...

But, of the 94 photos in the Naval Base's Facebook post, there were only a couple I cared about.  Pictures of my boy whom I haven't seen other than 'digitally' in over a year.

The boy I used to know.  

The photos I've seen of him lately are very serious, typically in uniform, carrying around a side arm and a big-honking machine gun.

But every now and then I see the kid who was born in Jacksonville, Florida.  Who grew to be a teenager in New York, and who became a man, and a sailor, all by himself in the US Navy far from home.

But ultimately, the guns are stowed away, the boat is left in the harbor, and the boy 'I used to know' puts on a big (non-Navy) hat, goes to Disney (Tokyo) and reminds me of how much I miss that boy.

And how much I've missed of his life over the past eighteen months.

MA Jon Kane - Petty Officer / Disney Fan
But, as it turns out - the boy's 'still there' after all.  

And I'm still here - typing my life away; looking back over my shoulder and wondering where the years went...

God speed MA Kane.

Enjoy the ride.

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