I was able to write a good deal over the past couple of days. Much of the writing was simply transcribing entries from my 1991 journal I wrote in Desert Storm. I’m not sure how much of it I will publish in the final version of the book. I may only take excerpts. But it is good for me to digitize what I wrote, and analyze my thoughts.
What struck me most about what I wrote almost 30 years ago is how much I’ve changed and how much I’ve stayed the same. I sensed the attitude of a young man without a great deal of life experience yet. I was pretty critical of my superiors, often unfairly so. But looking back, those who were my leaders were actually pretty good at what they were doing.
I sensed that at my core, I am still very much the same person.
I didn’t and still don’t like to be told what to do and how to do it. I’d rather someone give me the gist of what they are after and let me find a creative solution to the problem. Back then, I struggled with details and keeping track of specific items. I still deal with that, so I have to devise solutions for that concern. Mostly, getting into a routine, putting things in the same place, and automating certain tasks that can be automated has helped me immensely. Interestingly, I struggle the most when my routine gets disrupted. However, I really get bored with the monotony of things that never change. It is a paradox for me.
There were hints in my writing that even back then, I was very concerned about the well-being of others. I’ve had some of my former shipmates over the years confirm this with their impression of me. They would say things like I looked out for others, and I made being in the Navy fun by not always taking things too seriously.
There was at least one incident that I recorded though in which I got on a younger shipmate’s case for not being serious enough. I didn’t name names, but I recall that incident well. We were getting ready for combat, and one of my men was saying over and over, “we’re gonna die, we’re gonna die!” I don’t really know if he was joking, or if he was seriously frightened by what we were getting into, but I told him to snap out of it and straighten up. We didn’t have time for that kind of talk. So I guess I wasn’t always goofing around and being a jokester.
One thing I’ve been doing besides my own writing is reading the memoir of a Pearl Harbor survivor of the USS Arizona, Donald Stratton, a native of Nebraska. I purchased the book a while ago and haven’t ever read it yet, so I’ve been digging into it as time allows. I’m mostly looking at the style of writing it uses and what details he focuses in on. It’s very well written.
Two weeks into the 30 day challenge, the total page/word count for my Desert Storm book to date is 67 pages and 24366 words. I think I averaged between 500 – 1,000 words per day during the past week.