Graduation Day

by Mike Hemming

Were we ever that young? Yes we were, but now we are old and many youngsters since have taken our place. We sit in Dealey Center with these young new submariners as they join our ranks.

Good young men are still attracted to our calling, they still want to be sub sailors. Thank God for these young patriots. They sit in two rows at the front, with us old guys behind them. We can be proud of them. They know the history of subs and they are smart and eager. These men of the Lagarto class are ready to join the fleet. They are called the Lagarto class because each class has a boat’s history to study and report on. What better way to instill our history in them?

Submarine School today prepares them better for what they are about to face than we were. The instructors have worked hard to instill the pride of being able to wear Dolphins in their future. Technology has been used wisely to give them a head start on their future qualifications. Being here with them lets me know our submarines are still manned by the best.

Old Veterans of World War II, the Cold War and these young graduates are joined in spirit by the 'Forever Young', the men lost and still on patrol are with us here today. They too are proud of what they see. They know the torch has been passed once again.

The Forever Young and the old ones here pray that these young men will grow old too. We pray that they never join the 4,000 men that have given their all in the service of this country. May these young men survive the dangers of the deep and our nation’s enemies in these troubled times.

The Forever Young want no more men to join their ranks.