Desert Storm Reunion: Day 6 and 7 at sea

After we left Honduras, we were on our way back with two days at sea. We also got weather. The seas were heavier, so the ship would periodically lurch and sway. Nothing too bad mostly; every now and then, the ship would lurch in a way that made every one stop and go “Did you feel that?”

View of waves from the ship
The water was like this all the way back.

One of the passengers also reported in the elevator that there had been an accident on the rock climbing wall. The lurching had caused a climber to swing away from wall and then slammed her into it, breaking her arm. Ouch!

Rock climbing wall
That’s the rock climbing wall. It was on the highest point of the ship.

Friday was the Desert Storm Memorial ceremony. The ship did not allow it to be listed in the Cruise Compass, so it was just attended by veterans. We gathered in the ship’s conference room for the ceremony and watched each other lean from side to side in unison during the National Anthem.

Veterans holding flags from each of the services and the U.S. flag
Displaying the “colors.”

After that, volunteers from the services read the names of the fallen aloud.

(I’m seated to the left of the lectern).

One of the women had about a 10 second comment (edited out of the video) before reading the names. That caused quite a stir that apparently turned rather nasty. Some of the comments afterward fussed along the lines that she had gone off script—it was such a strange reaction that I was wondering initially what they were talking about. After the cruise, it turned into a bigger spat (the speed of the internet made me miss most of it), but it seemed like the same thing when the women’s memorial was added to the Vietnam Memorial where the veterans devalued another veteran’s experience.

My opinion: War leaves a deep imprint, and those experiences are larger than life. So much so that if someone has different experiences, but also ones that left that same deep imprint, that one vet will say, “That’s not as bad as mine, so you have no right to complain (or get honored).” We were in the rear during the war, such as the rear was. I had a friend who had one of those experiences that left such a deep imprint that it destroyed her. Yet, a front line vet might very well devalue that because his own experiences also left such a deep imprint.

And all of this might come from the problem is that none of the veterans from any of the wars from Vietnam forward did any kind of bonding or healing on the return home. We just came back on a plane and were expected to resume normal activities. (For World War II, the veterans were sent back on a ship that took about a month.)

There were other Desert Storm events, but I attended an art auction with a couple of the vets. There was an auction on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s feature Thomas Kincaid. I also attended a panel session on his art, which was very interesting. You’ll never see his paintings the same way once you know this:

If you have one of his pieces, look for the signature. Somewhere near it is a number. That is the number of Ns hidden in the painting. Every time he thought of his wife, he added the first letter of her name to the painting. Of course, after we heard that, we were up in the art gallery checking out his paintings and trying to find Ns. The auction employees confessed that those N’s are darned hard to find.

Lila (she’s the one carrying the Air Force flag in the video) bought a wonderful metal work painting of two wine glasses coming together. Black background, crimson wine. Spectacular. She got some Thomas Kincaids, and between what she purchased and won from the raffles, it was 14 paintings. 14!

Other artists auctioned off:

Autumn Deforest. She’s only 14! I was sitting too far back, so it was hard to see how magnificent her works were until I got up close.

Peter Max. Stunning color to these paintings and way out of my price range. I think one of the paintings was going for $70,000.

Friday also had my final towel animal, which I found hanging from the ceiling. Incredible amount of detail, even in the face.

Towel monkey hanging from ceiling
Coincidence that I went to the monkey park?  Enlarge and check out the face!

And the dog got dressed up in scuba gear …

Dog statue dressed up in face mask and snorkel.

And then in bright colors.

Dog sculpture with bright wig

Despite all the weather, we arrived right on time in Galveston on Sunday.  I was glad to finally get back. I’d done enough cruising. Though I might think of another one again.

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