The day was somewhat of a blur… I woke up and immediately thought it was Friday (it’s only Wednesday) I think I woke up and spent about an hour cleaning, about an hour of paperwork, stopped by the mess decks (cafeteria) and had a bowl of cereal from there I spent about 3 hours in executive officers inquiry (XOI). Basically this is like a preliminary hearing before you go in front of the big man, we only got through 3 of the eight accused sailors, one accused of using for sleeping with his side piece, another for using government computers to view pornographic material (this is a no-no on any government computer!) and another is one of the guys we saw at the disciplinary review board the other day. I don’t see any of these 8 cases getting dismissed in any way. All pretty valid acts punishable under the UCMJ… although the underage drinker is a sad story. 19 year old guy, first time being away from home gets an amcross message stating his 5 year old sister has been diagnosed with leukemia and the prognosis is “not good” this young sailor, who is new to the navy and has not been told of all the resources for coping and dealing with a family member who is ill, sick or dying. His way to deal was to drink until he passed out, when asked “well did it help you feel better “he stated~ no it made me feel worse. Step father runs a pretty straight forward house hold everyone is aware of right and wrong and what is accepted and what is not. In his household there was no drinking so drinking is something he has not experienced until he came into the navy… and he quickly found that underage drinking is not acceptable not matter what problems may arise. XO has somewhere to go, we’ll continue at 1900 (7pm)
At 7 pm we head back down for the second half of XOI. One kid that made me want to cry in so many ways this 22 year old reminds me of my own 14 year old son. Very quiet, to himself, into anime, his friends are just like him, to others he would be considered weird.. to his friends he is the cool kid who doesn’t mind sitting around the table with 3 other kids trading cards and talking about nothing in particular. Very smart and intelligent but refuses to let anyone know even if it means not passing in school or doing what he is told to do… I saw my son in 8 years still timid, quiet, and unsure of how he should answer questions that pertained to him… answering barely above a whisper ready to shed a tear if you ask to many more questions he did not want to answer. Watching and listening to this 22 y/o made me ask questions like, do I pay enough attention to my own child? Does he feel alienated since his baby brother arrived? Is he the person he is because deep inside he feels unhappy and out of place, not sure where he belongs or if he belongs at all? As parents we raise our children in hopes they will be independent adults who make clear conscious decisions about life, work and love. I feel that I have not kept up my part of he bargin by being that mom who is suppose to be there to nuture her children helping them through all the problems and road blocks they will run into as they grow to young adults. I’ve taken a short cut somewhere and watching and listening to this 22 y/o I realize that some things in life are more important than others. Children~ they are here because we wanted them to be her, they didn’t choose us we chose to have them as our own.. and I know I have to make every effort to comfort my son and help him grow to be that strong young man I know he can be.