In 1990, several ships, including the USS JFK visited Boston for the 4th of July. I don't quite remember exactly how it all happened, but some friends and I went out and happened to meet a few of these young gentlemen. Long story short, I'm a big letter writer. Wow, this was before email. I'm actually still a big letter writer. One of the few. Anyway, I exchanged addresses with two of the guys that we met and said that I'd write them. My two friends also exchanged addresses and we all kept in touch by letter for a few years.
One of the guys that I wrote was on another ship and sent me a letter with this cartoon on it. It's quite poignant. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I found another letter that was postmarked November 1990 from the USS JFK. Here is part of the letter with some minor edits for clarity.
"What's up? Well nothing much here is happening. Just sitting here giving you some thought. Don't worry they were pleasant thoughts. Well anyway I really don't have too much to say because we just left the Red Sea and are on our way to Italy. Then we should be in France for Thanksgiving hopefully.
I wish I had a little more good things to tell you, but there is nothing going on. We have been in the Red Sea for the last 45 days. It is hot, but we run a tight ship and know how to overcome rough situations.
Well enough of that. Don't even think I get a lot of letters or write a lot, because the truth is I don't get enough letters or write enough. Just how many is enough? Well out here if you go more than 3 days without getting a letter things get lonely and sad pretty quick. But everyone out here is doing fine and is in good condition. And things are starting to look up for the home team."
I don't know what happened to my friend. We lost touch, but I hope that he is okay. It makes me think of all the military personnel who are away from their families and friends hoping for letters and emails now. I can't imagine spending so much time at sea. But I just wanted to share some words and thoughts from someone who lived aboard the USS JFK for a period of time. A bit of history is coming to a close with the decommissioning. It served our country well. Thank you to all who have served aboard this fine ship.
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