I schedule my pics for publishing ahead of time and yesterday I set this image to publish today, with a narrative about this veterans memorial and this replica of the USS Colorado (BB-45) that is its main feature. Not long after, I received news that has made me delete that and write a new narrative.
A friend, a fellow sailor, took his life after a battle with depression. While JR and I never served on the same ship, we had that special connection as sailors and veterans. I met him through his wife, Kim, a former soldier, as she and I worked to build a different veterans memorial not far from this one.
Like most sailors, he was a salty dog (yellow shirt!) and we of course hit it off instantly. I haven’t seen him in several years as they had moved to California but we stayed connected online, always wishing each other a happy Veterans Day and calling each other ‘shipmate.’
When I read the news last night, I just cried. This morning, I write this through tears. As I told Kim a bit ago, I am rarely at a loss for words but words are entirely inadequate in times like this. Perhaps it is appropriate, in some little way, that this is the image I had already chosen to share today. It is done so now in honor of him.
JR, I hope you have found the peace up there that you could not find here. You shall be missed. Fair winds and following seas, my friend and shipmate. ?