recently had the honor to
volunteer at a "Wall That Heals"
when it visited my neighboring
"Wall That Heals" is a
travelling replica of the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
located on the mall in
This replica was brought here by
the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
Fund, and was a special event
because it was shown at the
Apalachicola, Fl. Special
because Apalachicola is the only
where you can also see a detail
of the Three Soldiers Statue
also located on the mall in
near The Wall. See
At first I thought of myself as
just a volunteer, but as the
time to be there came closer, I
realised that I was going to be
"standing a watch". We "stand
the watch" in various ways in
our lives, some of us learned
how to "stand the watch" on the
Belle Grove. I arrived ready to
"stand the watch" for the 58,000
men and women who served our
country by "standing the watch"
and now have their names on that
wall. I helped visitors to find
names on the wall, and
remembered some of the watches I
stood on board the Belle Grove.
As a deckhand, I often stood
lookout watch and enjoyed it
most times. Being on the bridge,
sunrises, moonrises, and the
open ocean, are some of the
things that made it enjoyable.
But I hated the 4 to 8 watch. On
that watch, I usually saw the
dawn, but was sometimes on the
port lookout post, near the
exhaust from the mess, before
8am. As my hunger grew about
that time of day, so did the
delicious smells from the mess.
Sometimes the delicious smell
was the smell of cinnamon, from
the cinnamon buns the bakers
were baking. And there I was
starving, now, and knowing that
by the time I was off watch, the
cinnamon buns would be gone. I
know you others remember how
good they smelled and tasted.
buns were gone most mornings,
and now I can't go by a Cinnabun
shop in the airport without
remembering those mornings.
And now, I'll always think about
those names and those veterans
who served our country, too.
If you ever want to "stand a
watch" again, do it as a
volunteer for our veterans.
Bruce H. Drye