Navy Story: Pledge Allegiance To Yourself

Throughout my time onboard an unnamed US Navy ship, I found myself faced with numerous tedious tasks. It didn’t matter how “important” they were, it didn’t increase their appeal in my eyes. Many of these tasks came up on a rotation, specifically our “duty day”. (For the lesser informed, duty day was 24hrs that you couldn’t leave the ship and were responsible for damage control/security of the ship). During my duty day, I was almost guaranteed to have a security watch.

I preferred to have a watch when it was dark, less people and contractors to bother you. I could watch dolphins frolic and minimize the “bothers”, allowing for us to recognize actual security infractions. I might be tired by the end of the watch, but it was generally uneventful.

But all can not be counted on, I would end up on watch during a morning watch or an afternoon (pre supper) watch. I often would be teamed up with someone to screen personnel. Not usually a bad watch unless you deal with assholes. I would dare to say that we grew numb sweating to death during a FL summer wearing body armor. I remember some of the coolest conversations with the likes of “Diamond Dave”, “The Sheriff”, and even a few junior personnel like “The Nightstalker”. But today, I remember one of the weirdest dudes I ever stood watch with; “Twiggy”.

Twiggy was an E6, while I was an E5. He never threw his weight around and he never pushed around another watch stander. He did his best to stand the watch and impart some wisdom. He didn’t hesitate to engage in conversation. It made for a short watch, for that I was appreciative. But his delivery and way of thinking was head scratching.

Twiggy would agree with you but sound like he automatically disagreed. He had good information or references, but he always sounded like the person who needed to say “no”, even with no opportunity for a “yes or no” position. I generally didn’t like the way our conversations went, but one time it was a gift. It was the “What are you pledging allegiance to?” conversation.

I never thought of it the way he said. I had never paid attention to it. The words shocked me after I heard him say it line by excruciating line.

Much of what I had said were things that I didn’t believe in. I had a rough idea of what most “libertarians” had felt and it surprised me. I asked myself what Twiggy did: What are you pledging allegiance to?

I discovered that I didn’t ascribe to the pledge creator (Francis Bellamy’s) version of nationalism. (I make the argument that most nationalists today become a series of rotating useful idiots via Fight Club’s “space monkeys” ).

I also feel the same way about those Christians that mandate “socialism”. It doesn’t matter what kind of socialism; I don’t want it. I would rather stick with states (or smallest local control) possible and ideally little to no government control over the markets, sure as hell not any religious leaders control.

Pledging allegiance to a flag? I don’t think that this makes any sense. The flag is symbolic but what do I owe along with my allegiance. My family at one time owed its allegiance to a certain prince, for its safety our men served that prince. The flag has only spooked foreigners, not clothed me when I was naked or deterred assholes from breaking into my house.

I don’t pledge allegiance to a republic, considering I don’t think that the US is currently a republic.

I could figure out some other way to “pledge” anything that didn’t require me to chant/speak a pre-set sentence in front of strangers. I honestly think that it makes more sense to pledge allegiance or affirm my support to the people of the United States, not the government, which has failed its people.

I easily could pledge to be a better person and help others, instead of aiding tyrants through some perverse blind patriotism.

Although I believe that many people in the United States have been given a level of prosperity that we should be thankful for, I think that God shouldn’t have been dragged into the pledge to begin with. Our system of economy, teamed up with a level of fluid political action, has helped produce some fruitfulness/productivity. I don’t feel that I should pledge allegiance to this.

You see what I am getting at here. The pledge? I would rather not unless I could mean what I say.

Twiggy might have frustrated the devil but he had a solid point. He made me reflect on what and why I had said certain things. It didn’t matter if it was “Anchors Away”, various words passed over our ship’s loud speaker, or operational instructions.

It brought out the skeptic in me. I never had an opportunity to thank him. It made for a great watch and an opportunity to fill the devil’s playground with something other than pictures of frolicking nymphettes.

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4 Responses to Navy Story: Pledge Allegiance To Yourself

  1. jyvurentropy says:

    Absolutely agree on the socialism. People just want to push for socialism because it’s just edgy enough to make them feel like rebels, but then they also get to play the role of morally superior (never mind the fact that literally millions of people have died under socialist governments. 40 million under Mao alone). I’m with you-it’s not the role of the government to interfere with the economy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gunner Q says:

    We are the Ronin of the West. Having outlived our country, we look to ourselves and wonder what happens next. Who and what is worth our effort?

    Like

  3. Pingback: Navy Story: Pledge Allegiance To Yourself — Mogadishu Matt | Vermont Folk Troth

  4. Pingback: FreeMatt in Review: 8-16 to 8-20 | Mogadishu Matt

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