Kemejuk's Korner

Thanksgiving Thoughts, 2003

One thing we can be thankful for is the Thanksgiving holiday itself, because it at least reminds us annually that we need to reflect on things in our lives that mean so much, things that we just don’t always take time to think of in our busy lives.

Some are large, some are very small, but it’s good to know they exist. The broadcast news reports daily how we should get out of Iraq or Afghanistan; but I am thankful we have leadership with the courage to take a stand against terror. We hear that our soldiers are in another ‘quagmire’, another Vietnam, in Iraq; but I am thankful for the hundreds of thousands of brave men and women in the armed forces, then and now, who dare to think differently and proudly serve their country.

Here in California, we have been criticized for having a movie star for a governor; but I am thankful that we, as a state, recognized a corrupt, failed leadership and rose up to demand an unprecedented recall and fresh breath of power. Thousands upon thousands of acres were burned to the ground here recently, with many lives permanently affected, and homes and property lost; but we are all thankful for the incredible efforts of our firefighters, as well as the generosity of our citizens who never hesitate to freely give time and materials to those in need.

It’s been 30 years since many of us spent some boring weeks at sea on our “Okie City”; but I am thankful to have the memories of those days, and for the hundreds of shipmates who still care about the old girl and connect via the terrific website. Growing old is not always fun, and life doesn’t always turn out the way we want; but I am most thankful to be alive and surrounded by my loving family; I could not ask for more.

To all shipmates of every generation, have a Happy Thanksgiving 2003.

Jack Kemejuk, 1968-74