Today, I am proud to have Jennifer, aka Inside My Mind [like Phantom of the Opera] guest blogging for me. I have known Jennifer for quite some time. She's awesome. She is not a Military spouse, or a wife in general. She wears no service uniform or Medals above her heart. But one thing is for sure. This girl has a great head on her shoulders. This girl will go far in life. Jennifer is Passionate about the military, she has great appreciation for it.
When I asked Jennifer to blog for my "Thankful" week. She was more than thrilled, I'd say just a wee bit excited ;)
I asked Jenny, "Why are you Thankful for the Navy?"
"Ola Vevik, The Navy and How They Saved My Life"
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write for this blog. I LOVE the military and my country. I have no idea why, it's just the way it is. I'm that person that cries during the Star Spangled Banner and especially the Pledge of Allegiance. Ridiculous, I know but it's just the way it is.
I'm especially thankful for the Navy, it saved my life. And here's how:
So, it was 1980, my dad is a 28 year old alcoholic. His life was completely messed up and he wanted a way out. He thought joining the military would help get him cleaned up. He was wrong.
He first went to the Army Recruitment Office to enlist. They wouldn't let him though because he had a drug possession charge from 1971 that they considered a felony. So he waltzed down to the Navy Recruitment Office. They only considered his drug possession as a misdemeanor. So he enlisted.
He spent the next 3 years traveling the world, partying it up and getting paid for it. It came time for his 3 year tour to end. He told me that there had been rumors that the "Big E", as he affectionately refers to the Enterprise, was going to Australia. So of course he wanted to go. He'd always dreamed of going to Australia: pretty women, exotic accents and a fun time. Who wouldn't? So he signed up for another year.
Shortly after re-enlisting, he took a sledgehammer to the boatswain's locker and did A LOT of damage. His immediate superior, Ola Vevik, the ship's boatswain, went before the captain on my dad's behalf. He came back with 2 options. Option 1. be reduced to a seaman recruit. Option 2. Go to drug and alcohol rehab in San Diego for 13 weeks.
He chose rehab. He finished out his last year with the "Big E" and went back to Milwaukee where he met my mother.
I'll be eternally grateful to Mr. Vevik and the Navy. They could have just discharged him but instead they gave him a choice. If he hadn't gotten his life straightened out, I wouldn't be here. He wouldn't have gone back home, my mother would have never dated him and I wouldn't be here right now.
I'm so proud of my dad. I love him so much. And like I said, I'm so thankful for the Navy and Ola Vevik.
If anyone who is reading this happens to know of Mr. Vevik or a way I can get in touch with him, I'd love to thank him personally if at all possible.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!