Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Heart's Desire

I’m not sure how to start this but here it goes. Though it seems like everything in my life has gone my way; the one thing that I long for has yet to bear fruit. I have this void that is seemingly becoming bigger as the years go by. Maybe I've given too much of myself and nothing fulfilling has come to satisfy my Heart’s desire. I have tried my best to ask and even beg but it's the one thing that my wife is not at liberty to fulfill for me.

For years now I have longed to become a father. My attempts to become one naturally; could not be possible due to my wife’s medical condition. I have had heated discussions with her to adopt but she would rather not go through raising a child. My attempts have been fruitless no matter the avenue I've proposed. The 24 years of being in the Navy is all I have. Once this is done I can't think of anything else that would have much meaning to my life.
I've tried my best to forget about my selfish desires and convinced myself that I would be happy with my life even without children. This emptiness is honestly eating me up inside and it is making me miserable and unsatisfied with life.

Opportunities has come and gone and I've had regrets about turning those chances down because I believed it was the right thing to do while married. Believe me I would have been an illegitimate father many times over during my younger years. It is just not my nature to do such thing. I was raised up a better person and though she’s gone now I still would not do it. I even have an offer from a friend who will join me to adopt kids and raise them with me. Yes, it was the right thing to do and not accept those offers but now I've come to the conclusion that it has always been about someone else and not about me. It has always been about what others will think and how others will view me. In the end, if I keep this then I will be left with nothing but misery, slow death to my heart’s desire and a lost dream of having a family of my own, with children.

This desire has been eating me up inside as the years go by and it has gotten stronger. I’m not talking yesterday, YEARS...like 10 plus years. And if by chance with my strike at luck; a woman crosses my path and is up to offer me a life with children. I’m even open to accepting children that she has now. I did it with my first marriage and I don’t see why not again. I can love children no matter where they come from. Then I am more than willing.

I have to make this decision on my own and I believe that unless I take the step then my heart’s desire to have a family of my own will never be. I thank the friends and family who have listened to me and given me the support on whatever decision I made. I continue to ask for your prayers to help me find the right partner in life to have a family of my own.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Since becoming a US Navy Chief




Nine years ago, after returning from ten years of shore duty; I stepped onto the Mess Decks of the USS Carl Vinson. It was my first time to wear my Khaki Uniform and lead my Sailors as a US Navy Chief. I remember the Sailor's looking at the flat screens throughout the messdecks as they watched CNN replaying the scenes of each plane crashing into the twin towers and then the collapse of both towers. The looks on the faces of these young Sailors were of disbelief, worry and most of all Fear. However surreal it was, I had to gather my composure and get these Sailors to focus on our tasking of responding to this tragic and cowardly act. We were two months into our deployment and were about to head into the Persian Gulf, when on Sept 11, 2001 our ship was diverted to the North Arabian Sea and on October 7, 2001 our Carrier Strike Group launched the first airstrikes in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Since then I have lead my Sailors to faithfully do their jobs just as if we were in the frontlines. Maybe it was my destiny to face the challenges and be the one taking these young American men and women into the War on Terrorism campaign. Nine years later after three ships, an overseas duty providing support to forwardly deployed units, and finally on shore duty. I am faced with the fact that my career as a US Navy Senior Chief may be coming close to retirement. For twenty two years I've been proudly serving in our nation's greatest Navy. This is all that I've been doing since leaving Saipan back in 1986. A sombering fact that I will soon transition into the civilian workforce.



It truly has been rewarding getting out of my skin and taking on the task to train, groom and lead Sailors during the past 9 years as a Navy Chief. A very humbling experience as well to have the honor of serving this great country of ours called the United States of America. Who would have thought that this island boy would be destined leading Sailors into almost a decade of war. Every year since then when the commemoration of September 11 comes around, it falls during the Chief Select training season. Every year I commit to the Chief's Mess to be a part of initiating, inducting, transitioning and accepting Chief Selects become US Navy Chiefs and to honorably enter the Chief's Mess. For nine years I have been training Chiefs to eventually take my place and continue what I have been doing since September 11, 2001.



video



For the rest of my life I will forever remember the day after I became a US Navy Chief because it was on Sept 11, 2001. Even though I will no longer wear the Khaki Uniform with my Anchors, I will still live on to remember the significance of when I started my commitment in being a US Navy Chief. Hundreds of my former shipmates will have never reached as far as I have and although I leave them behind; I have them to thank for being a US Navy Senior Chief. To the Sailors who have become Chiefs under my charge and careful training, thank you and keep it up. Train the new Chief Selects and proudly bring them into our Chief's Mess. Together we will make this Navy stronger and smarter. Together as a united Chief's Mess we can take our young men and women to take this fight for another decade(God willing) so we can continue living in this wonderful country of ours with the freedoms we all enjoy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Brew Crew

Hafa adai yan Memorias,
Hope all is well with you and your family. As we get closer to home and
close the final curtain to my last at sea period while in this Great
Navy of ours; I am reminded again of why I have been doing this for the
past 23 plus years. I have all of you to be thankful for your years of
support and encouragement. This is not an easy job though most would
think I've been in this outfit long enough to just point fingers and
make things happen. Believe me when I say, I make every penny of your tax dollars count. I still aim to ensure that my replacement before I
retire are well trained with ample military discipline and resounding
integrity.
Its almost time for me to retire my seabag and return ashore for my last
2 years of shore duty. I tried to stay out here at the "Tip of the
Spear" longer however my time has come to return to shore. Its funny
how sometimes things happen for a reason. I have been selected to
receive orders to Key West Florida. Maybe it's a sign, that Im really
going to retire. And of all places-an island of the Keys in Florida. I
better go find my rubba slippas, oil up my fishing reel, sharpen up my
fishing spears, and get signed up for SCUBA classes. Someone suggested I get a boat so I just get off the island when a hurricane comes around rather than drive that long bridge. Of all places I get to go to a resort island at the tip of Florida. Im sorry but someone got to do
this hard and dirty job. I need to get my golf clubs cleaned from the
last round of game. I guess it's the Navy's way of rewarding me for the
productive years of service.
Ok so I digress. I wish I could stay longer and do more to keep our war
fighting front strong. Once again Thank You for all the support and
encouragement you've provided (no matter how small). You've kept me
company out here and help me deal with all this madness that I deal on a daily basis. I can't thank you all enough for what you've done for me.
Whether you've put a smile on my face, made me think of great times
we've had or even convinced me to go a bit easy on a Sailor who needs
some military attitude alignment. Its been real and its been fun.
Finally I get more time photographing while in Key West. I look forward
to keep in contact with you all. If anyone of you should get a chance
to wander as far as Florida, then please come visit me so we can enjoy
some seafood on the grill, some brew and if I still got some Sake or
Umeshu left from Japan. You're all welcome to enjoy with me the nice
tropical weather of Key West on my waterfront porch.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ahoy there Land lubbers

Get 'er done as Larry the cable guy would say. We are on our merry way
again to being deployed. A week of getting our bearings, making sure
she floats, and everything else running good is going along fine. Its
been a long struggle being at the beach for this long. It seemed like
the drama wasn't ever going to stop. Now the flyboys are getting their
shot at trapping and shooting up the cats. After this, everyone will
finally be back for our Summer Cruise. Lots of foreign port calls
mentioned but like always, I am not making any reservations until its
confirmed. One of those ports take me back 22 years when I was a young
airman walking the streets of Olongapo. I can not imagine how great
liberty will be if we do go there. I will be going on leave to meet my
long lost family in the province....my illegitimate family if you know
what I mean (just need to find them).
So far my Sailors have behaved more than I expected. It really worries
me a lot when we are extended pierside at home. I know its sounds crazy but the longer Sailors stay ashore while on sea duty the worse off they become. First casualty was knocked the "ef" out at some club and only got 24 hours of mentoring. The last one got too frisky and couldn't
take no for answer with one of the base taxi drivers. Fortunately he is
the only one that ended up in front of the man but only got restriction
and a suspend bust.
I believe it to be true that Sailors need to be at sea just as ships
belong at sea. I guess with Brada Bama being in "Da House", much has
been tailored down due to the economy. Hard to believe but its been
over 20 years since I last heard that we are out of money. I better
stop off at the 100 Yen store and get me a bunch of toilet paper (TP)
for myself because I have a funny feeling well be buying more fuel for
the birds rather than TP. Too bad there no tangantangan trees out here.
I better bring some lantan spam too for when they run out of frozen
burritos. Theres a bunch of us onboard who will be along a bit longer
than expected. Seems like the only people really getting off this ship
will be heading to Iraq or Afganistan for IA duty..thats a bummer. I
think I would rather extend here for another year than be at those
places.
So now I will be more of a Sailor than the past six months. The smell
of jet fuel and the feel of salt spray off the hangar bay doors would be
the best feeling in the morning when I walk up to my shop. Wish my luck
and please pray for our safety in carrying out our daily "danger"
taskings while we help keep our seas safe from evil forces. If you have
some free time to email (tudelas@cvn73.navy.mil) me personal
encouragements or just to amuse me with your daily lives, please don't
hesitate. I am sure after a while you'll be hearing all the drama I get
to deal with. In advance, I need to extend my appreciation for your
support while Im deployed.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

De-Lurking

Hafa adai yan Memorias. Its late Sunday night and I am unsure if I am supposed to post something to let others know who I am when I de-lurk and they get to visit my blog. So here it goes. I am a native to Saipan, born and raise the island way. Joined the Navy to see the world with all the promised adventures my recruiter conned me into. 22 yrs later I am still a Sailor and a damn good one. I got my b-hind kicked and was molded by crusty old Chiefs back in the day when it was all "Rough and Tough Love". Quite thankful for those days because I wouldn't be where I am at now.
I am at the point in my career with the Navy that I consider all Sailors as my kids and I correct everyone of them that needs straightening out even if they are not from my ship. I am stationed on the USS George Washington, Forward Deployed Naval Forces and home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. I am married (my other career) to a lovely Thai lady who can outcook any Thai cook in Saipan (IMHO). Starting to look at retiring soon. Where? don't rightly know yet. Maybe one of you could help me decide if I should return home and be a chicken rancher in the AM then go on photo shoots all day until midnight. I hope one day to publish photobooks of our culture, its people and our island Saipan.
I love photography and enjoy traveling the world to capture photos of our wonderful world, Beautiful people and amazing things. You would probably know me better by viewing my photos on Flickr.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chelu/ Enjoy.
Forgive me if I hardly blog or comment. Due to my frequent at sea periods and slow internet on the ship. Plus I can't really disclose my whereabouts while deployed. Thank you for sharing your blogs.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pasgua yan Anu Nuebo

The holidays have always been my reconnection to the island and our culture. Our celebration of the Christ's coming has been centered around being together for the holidays and going to church. Being raised up by my "Nang" who was a devote Catholic made it a season to be more emotional than material. I grew up with her meager monthly stipend of SSI checks. Christmas really was never about getting gifts for me. In fact, I can't ever recall getting gifts for christmas nor having a Christmas tree in my house. The usual gift exchanging while in school I experienced but the commercialism of Christmas was never really engrained into my head. I was happy enough to see another Pasgua with "Nang" still alive and well.
I recall the family gatherings for annual Nino Novena feast, After Christmas Mass party, and the weekly sunday Nino visit to friends or family house during the holidays. Those gatherings were usually about being happy to be alive to see another Christmas and that the start of another year was within days reach. The giving gifts in our culture isn't really a part of Christmas. It is the sharing of love amongst our friends and family. The joy of being alive and well was more the dominant ideal shared amongst Chamolinians.
We also take time to reflect on our friends and family who were not fortunate enough to see Christmas or another New year. This is the part that really gets me every time. While being away from home and celebrate Christmas Mass; I have experienced tearful moments during mass. My wife has been puzzled on occasions with my emotional outbreak. It really is heart breaking to celebrate the holidays without your family. This year while we celebrate Christmas with our families and friends please remember the Service members who are deployed downrange or at sea protecting our freedom to celebrate the holidays. Pray for them so they stay safe and return home in a timely manner. Felis Pasgua yan anu Nuebu para todo.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Natives Gone Wild

Roxy had emailed me earlier in the year but couldn't view until recently. Click to watch:



Let the good times roll.