This is War!

In honor of Memorial Day, this is the closest thing I have to offer-my  sacrifice in marrying a military man!  This is a chapter from a book I started about my life with my late husband and childhood sweetheart, Jimmy Rabe.  This chapter is about learning where he was going to be stationed after he got out of boot camp and school in the Navy. He was stationed for four years (1974-1977) at the Fleet Intelligence Center of the Pacific (FICPAC). He joined the Navy to avoid the draft during Viet Nam and he got four years in Hawaii!  We were blessed!  Hope you enjoy!
                                       Jimmy Ray Rabe 1952-1997
                                        Forever Young
Chapter 6

 This is War!

"Alaska or Hawaii!" Jimmy explained.  He couldn't believe it but because the war was ending and he had enlisted he was going to be spending his first tour of duty in either Hawaii or Alaska, not Viet Nam!  "When will you know?"  I asked.  Jimmy said there was no way of telling but no one got Hawaii on a first tour of duty during wartime, unless you had connections.  I understood.  He had no connections. I had no connections. We were going to Alaska. 

I was working part-time at a local department store modeling and selling lingerie.  I started buying coats and sweaters on sale with my store discount.  I knew we would need plenty of warm things for the weather in Alaska.  We were not used to that much cold weather living in Texas.  I used whatever money I had plus the money Jimmy sent me to buy blankets, coats, and sweaters.  At least we would be well prepared and wouldn’t freeze to death. I was proud of my little treasure chest of warm woolen necessities to start our life together.  Before I knew it the shower arrived and we received even more wonderful presents to help us start our new life together. 

"You are not going to believe this babe!  We are going to Hawaii!" Jimmy proudly announced calling from San Diego.  "Babe----are you there? Can ya believe it? We're going to Hawaii!  What's the matter, you don't seem very excited?" 

"Honey, you're not going to believe this."  I meekly replied.  "You know all the money you've been sending me? Well, I've been stocking up on blankets, socks, sweaters and coats for you and me for Alaska!  I just thought we would never get Hawaii like you said.  I am so sorry." Jimmy laughed, "It's only money honey." 

Then the idea hit, we were going to live in Hawaii.  We were going to be Hawaiians!  "Oh Jimmy, we could get married in the Islands instead of here."  "That's a great idea sweetheart." Jimmy replied. Jimmy said he would check it all out as soon as he arrived in Hawaii and we could plan a Hawaiian wedding. 

Then the second thought hit me.  I was prepared to stand by as a noble loyal wife of a man fighting his country in the jungles of Viet Nam, but expecting me to stand by a man who was going to be enjoying the beautiful babes in Hawaii on the beach was way beyond the call of duty.  There is only so much any woman should be expected to do for her country.    And, Hawaii was too far away for even occasional visits.  We could not wait as long as we planned, we would have to move the wedding date!  

This was war!  I knew those sweet little Hawaiian girls would not be able to resist my sharp dressed man and I needed to get over there as fast as possible!  Jimmy needed me!  I prepared for battle by putting on my skimpiest bathing suit and marching out on the patio to get some sun, so that I wouldn't look so Texan when I arrived and had to fight off all of those bronze beauties.   

I would get the tan of my life before I left and leave those Hawaiian babes in my tracks.  I heard the bugle call, it was time for serious action! I grabbed my Coppertone, my sunglasses and steadied myself for war as I turned my head toward the sun!
Follow me on Twitter @poetonpoetry
LIKE my Facebook Page at


Donna Galanti said...

Enjoyed reading of your days with your sweetheart. I too was stationed at FICPAC in 1988 as a photographer. The building with no windows! Bet you have some stories of your time there. Thanks for sharing.

Poet on Poetry said...

Thank you, Donna! I hope you will Follow the blog if you haven't already! We need more Followers!

My husband was also stationed at the building with no windows in the most secure part of it through 3 big doors as I remember from the Open House. His security clearance was so secret he couldn't say the name of it or something like that. It's been a long time! :) I remember getting to see some of the heat sensitive photography during the Open House. Pretty cool1 I bet you have stories too!

libithina said...

thankyou for sharing this ~ lovely photograph of your sweetheart ~ honour and a privilege to read ~ Lib

Poet on Poetry said...

Awww, thank you libithina! It is an honor to share him! He was a Jim (pun intended!). :)