A social media post from former USS Midway sailor, Genel Ruiz, was recently shared on the Midway Sailor Facebook page. Genel served with the carrier’s weapons department in 1985. This reflection of his time on Midway is worth sharing.

I miss that time. I miss the boys. I miss our princess of the 7th Fleet, CV-41. I miss seeing the crew running about ensuring that she looked and performed to her best. I miss the soda runs, the “you fly, I buy” run. I miss the red light that would give that glow in the darkness and the gentle rolling as she cut through the dark waters. Never once thinking that anything could ever happen to me or the crew. Rocking me to sleep even as the air wing did night ops. The whoosh of the cats, the thunder of the wire being caught. All comforting sounds. Weird huh? The things that make you feel safe and comforted. I even miss getting chewed out by my chief.

Former USS Midway sailor, Genel Ruiz

I miss our host nation and that old city, Yokosuka. The nation that would eventually grant me a most beautiful daughter and lovely wife. And although we are no longer together, I miss the lessons she taught me. Instilling in me a profound respect for that island nation.

Many years have passed since that time. But the memory remains as new as if I just left. The memory stings and hurts while making me feel grateful to have them. It hurts and feels good all at the same time. I will never forget. Not even if I wanted to. And I pray that memory will serve me well so that I will never forget. The boys, the ship, the nation and its people. All that happened to me then helped make me what I am today. The boys, the ship and that nation.

Every so often, I make it a point to take a moment to raise a glass, light a cigar and play the songs and look at the photos that make the memories more clear. A little more painful. A little more sweet.

Here’s to the boys, the ship and the nation. Kampai!

USS Midway, CV-41, 1985

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