My now departed Uncle Burr was a career Coastie, wearing a uniform when he would come to visit that clearly indicated he was an at sea serviceman. As a little boy, when he got a liberty call in Portsmouth, he'd call Mom and my dad would meet him at the Newport News ferry dock when he arrived on foot from Southside Hampton Roads. He was my hero dressed in his Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer uniform and I was amazed at his ribbons which he would take the time to explain to me. He was a cutter Damage Control Chief during the delivery of Marines at Guadalcanal and also served during the Great War in the Aleutians in Alaska when they were under threat of Japanese invasion. He told of how cold it was for they hadn't even had time to get winter uniforms since they were relocated so fast. But when he arrived at our home in Newport News to visit, Mom would, of course, fatten him up with her cooking and for the first day he had trouble getting his balance, telling us of what it was like on a cutter in the North Atlantic with the huge waves as they scoured the sea on icebreaker patrols. It wasn't easy to transition sea legs to landlubber status. But I've saved the best part of the story for last.
After storing his duffle bag away in the guest room, he brought presents for everyone and being the youngest, he had something very special for me. It was a genuine Coast Guard pea jacket, custom-sized for a little boy with the enlisted duty Coastie cap as well., I loved it and didn't want to take it off and Burr laughed while my mother would just shake her head with a smile on her face. But what brought this cute little pup to remind me of those memories that were stored in my long-term data bank we call the brain came from the conversation that Mom and Uncle Burr had about that outfit.
Mom said, "He loves it, Burr, but how am I going to get him to ever take it off?"
Uncle Burr responded with his characteristic twinkle in his blue eyes and a smiling face by saying, "Don't worry, Cam, let the little pup have some fun."
Now I think anyone should now understand why this picture was so wonderful to me and I also know exactly how that little pup must feel lying on that comfortable chair. I hope you all have a blessed day and I thank that dear Facebook friend of mine for her generosity. I've never met her in person, but we graduated at different times from the old hometown high school and we share our faith and our joy in the beauty of trying to do what is right. I hope she enjoys reading this piece as much as I enjoyed writing it. Be blessed, my friends, and enjoy another special day with the gift of life.