Today I went to the Hospital over on Camp Pendleton to have a special lunch with the hubs. The First Class Petty Officer Association was selling pancit and lumpia as a fundraiser. Some of the kids were from Hubs’ department, so it was nice to not only help, but support some of his own.
While there, I got a great tour of the department and was introduced to everyone while I waited for him to get back from a snack run. Everyone seemed so friendly, but we’re definitely not on a ship anymore! You can just kind of tell there isn’t the camaraderie in the civilian world that there was on the shipboard side. I guess when you’re not having hails and farewells every quarter and wardroom gatherings there simply isn’t the opportunity to build the relationships.
I was introduced to some folks on the military side. I was introduced to good old “Lady Boards”. (Remember he bought the female shoulder boards and didn’t realize it until the morning of his promotion. The closest shop that sells MSC shoulder boards is down at Miramar- quite the haul in morning traffic!) He’s a Cowgirls fan- no wonder he bought the female boards. I also was able to meet Hubs’ boss! He was a really nice guy who knew how to talk football smack on the college level. He checked in only a week or two before Hubs, so he’ll be here for the same length of time, which is always nice.
Along our tour one of the most breathtaking things was a back corridor: The Hall of Heroes. The hallways would be travelled if one was heading to the Executive Conference Room or one of the staff parking lots. Along the walls there were pictures and citations of those in the medical community who received the Medal of Honor. (Where Hubs’ great grandfather is pictured!)
One of the things was a glass enclosed bulletin board where the hospital badge of those deployed either IA or on various missions were hung. Hubs’ was outside checking a voicemail and I have to admit I got a little choked up by the sentiment. How important it is in this kind of environment to remember those who have separated from their command to assist the greater community of their military brethren. There were about 50 badges hanging in the case, give or take a few. Next week one of the Petty Officers from Hubs’ department will deploy and his badge will be placed in the case.
It was one of those moments in life that take your breath away and make you so greatful for the sacrifices of those so often overlooked beause they work in a hospital and not out in the heat. Another concept I have the Navy to thank for giving me… I will never forget the day I first saw it, and will say a prayer for all those everytime I see NHCP.