Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quote of the century...

Regarding the Murmansk run during WWII...

"We had a 25% fatality rate on each voyage, so the only way to keep enough officers to man the ship was to guarantee that they'd advance in rank after one voyage. I was 3rd mate on my first trip, 2nd on the second trip. One year after I graduated, I was chief mate. I was captain by the time I was 24, and had been torpedoed twice by then. Now, kids are whining that they can't handle the stress of paying their credit cards on time. Pussies."

This is the conversation I had while sitting in my doctor's waiting room this morning. The vet in question, sitting next to me, commented on my shirt, which bears the outline of a tanker in profile. What followed was a 10 minute conversation that had the entire waiting room in complete silence.
The guy was awesome. He absolutely did not give a shit about anything mundane, which is as it should be, when one has run through the gauntlet at an early age.

2 comments:

Ken E. Beck said...

Hey Paul, nice post. It interesting to run into these guys. I had the owner of the local feed and pet store speak to me while I was looking for a goldfish In 90 seconds told me about getting torpedoed in the Atlantic, then helped me catch my fish. - Funny how you can meet someone for ten minutes and never forget them.

Cold is the Sea said...

Great anecdote...I have the same experience every time I talk with a combat vet. They sure help put things in perspective...