I knew they had sunk her. Two years ago. I decommed her in 03. I knew it was sitting on a pier in Bremerton just waiting out the rest of her life. I saw her sitting in Everett the day my nephew was born and I said goodbye knowing where they were taking her. And then they used her and 4 other old destroyers as target practice. I don't know why I am so emotional about this. I hadn't even given it a second thought until I saw a picture of her being sunk. And I burst into tears. I am still crying right now. I feel like such a fool. I know it is just a boat. I know it is just a big hunk of metal. But it was my boat. It was my hunk of metal. I stood thousands of hours of watch on that ship. I learned how to navigate a 529' boat through the water. I learned how to drive and conn on that ship. I learned how to navigate by the stars on her. I became a Shellback on that ship. I climbed to the top of the mast on her just to hang some stupid flags to impress some stupid foreign dignitaries. I got my ESWS pin on her. I made such good friends on that ship like my Maria and Tatty. I grew up on that boat. I went from a shy quiet little QMSA straight from bootcamp to a QM1 that kicks a$$. I know it wasn't all on that boat, but it laid the ground work for the rest of my time in the Navy. I know I have the memories and I still have the friends, but it still breaks my heart to know that she is now sitting on the ocean floor as a great big reef.
In all her glory off the coast of Chile. If you look hard, you can see me in the bridge windows. I was always trying to get in on these pictures.