Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Underbelly of Navy Life

You know, if you have spent any time around the Navy, then you have probably heard the generalizations that people make about the Navy: things like "if you have a tattoo parlor and a strip club, it must be a Navy town." Sadly, most of this is true. My little town in backwater Connecticut DOES have a tattoo parlor and a strip club, but in general, I think that many Navy people are beginning to move away from these perceptions.
As most of you know, our boat just changed hands. My former captain was a man of upstanding morals - a man to be exemplified. It saddens me that the same can not be said of all of those in leadership positions.
Recently I was in the dubious position of defending/deflecting the attention of many navy wives to the seedy underbelly of Navy life. I know the old adage the "boys will be boys" and that things happen on deployment or underways that are out of character for many of our loved ones. Here's the thing though, I married a man, not a boy.
I am not the fun police. I usually don't care what activities men or women choose to engage in while their loved ones are far away, UNTIL they make it my business. When I get concerned phone calls from spouses because the behavior is so bad and seems to be so universal - then I do care. I care when men speak to women using vulgarity and profanity that is inappropriate at any and all times. I care when leadership encourages behavior of the junior officers and enlisted men that is not only bad for their home lives but is, quite frankly, simply immoral and irresponsible.
I know some cling desperately to the "traditions" of the Navy, but quite frankly, I think this is one that should be laid to rest.


Ann M. said...

Ugh. I feel like some guys just like to behave selfishly and idiotically and expect everyone to write it of as deployments/boys being boys or whatever. DH made the mistake of sharing one story about a higher ranking guy on one of his trips and I couldn't believe what this man was doing to his family. And then I had to see them at the airport and...ugh. Just crappy.