Saturday, July 10, 2010

Smooth sailing and safe ports

The three-paragraph brief Friday from the Navy Times was short on words but filled with questions and anticipation:

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — The guided-missile destroyer O’Kane is deploying to the Middle East and western Pacific.

The Navy says O’Kane is scheduled to depart Friday following an accelerated training and maintenance period in Pearl Harbor.

The ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Derek Trinque, says O’Kane will support ballistic missile defense requirements in the Central Command region. He said he expects the ship to take part in a host of other missions as well.

We spoke with Petty Officer Z.J. Smith before the O'Kane lifted anchor and he was in good spirits and anxious with his shipmates to get under way. This was a scheduled deployment, but there are many questions that won't be answered until they're answered, which is the military way.  One of Zach's biggest concerns: How do you miss a complete season of football?  Honestly. We can only pray that's the biggest obstacle for these sailors to overcome in next seven months.

Our senior year in high school we somehow we got roped into singing with the Dairyland Conference Choir.  The details are sketchy, but the one good offshoot is we learned and still remember the Navy Hymn, at least the first verse:

Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

Here's an audio clip of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the hymn. Give it a listen some time, and have good thoughts for our sailors on the high seas.


  1. That's a long time to be on a ship, away from everything, my thoughts and prayers are for Zach and his shipmates safe return.You could always tape his favorite team for the season, then he could enjoy watching them when he returns......just a thought. lol

  2. We appreciate his service and pray for his safe return.

  3. Fair sailing Zach...
    May thoughts of Parson's beach, Maine, fill you with great thoughts to send you home safe. Love to you and your family! Sue Sue