90,000 Tons of Diplomacy. Whenever, Where Ever. That's the unofficial motto of the nuclear aircraft carrier, USS George Washington, (CVN-73). Rebecca Anne Freeman's new book, the first by a junior enlisted woman since full Naval gender-integration nearly twenty years ago, takes us below decks, recounting her four-year experience aboard this, the world's largest warship.
Rebecca Freeman was an unlikely warrior. Growing up in the piney woods of Southwest Louisiana, she was awarded an athletic scholarship to Pensacola Junior College, where she starred in center field for the nationally acclaimed Lady Pirates softball team. At loose ends upon returning to Louisiana in the summer of 2000, she enlisted in the Navy shortly after the disastrous attack on the USS Cole.
Becky describes what life is really like for a young woman in today's military. We follow her through her terrifying experiences in the gas and smoke-filled training chambers at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes. After a brief return to Pensacola for aviation training, we accompany her as she encounters - with a growing sense of wonder and awe- a Sailor's everyday life at sea.
She describes her life as a "gear dog" - greasing and maintaining the multi-ton engines which safely land thundering jet aircraft supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. And, just like every other sailor who ever to put to sea, she endures a series of menial jobs, first as a "mess cooks" (Navy KP) and later as a general service repair person: chipping paint, stripping decks and handling the many tasks which sailors are called upon to perform. In recognition of her dedication and hard work, shortly after September 11, 2001 she was promoted to Petty Officer and volunteered for hazardous flight-deck duty, as a vital link between the Landing Signal Officer and thundering jets landing just a few feet away.
She pulls no punches as she describes the terror of life on the flight deck, the loneliness of six-month patrols off the coast of Iraq and the many small pleasures and irritations which make up a sailor's life at sea. She clearly describes life in the tiny living area - much smaller than a modern apartment -which she shared with forty other women. We follow her on rollicking liberty excursions to Key West, Greece and elsewhere. Writing with a lively sense of humor, she finally recognizes that it is the camaraderie of her shipmates which keeps her from being truly Lost At Sea. This book is a "great read" for anyone concerned about the state of gender integration in today's military, military veterans, those considering service in the Navy, or anyone with loved ones serving at sea.
|Publisher:||Media Creations, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)|