22 November 2007


Every year, the Fleet that I am in takes a trip to Hong Kong at the same time to do a nice liberty port and International Relation thing. This year was a little different. Hong Kong has been a port that we were scheduled to visit forever. Each year that I have been in this fleet, we have gone at least once or twice a year. For whatever reason, the Chinese Government denied U.S. Naval Forces entry into Hong Kong for our annual visit.

Normally, this would be only mildly disappointing; but take into account that we as a fleet have been out to sea now over a month, and that a vast majority of the crew onboard (as well as the other ships in our battle group) have their families visiting ashore in Hong Kong, and you have a lot of disappointed families and sailors.

Take me for instance, I sent for my fiancé to visit. Her ticket was bought and paid for back in September. We were both so very excited to see each other, for we have been apart now for 4 months. I was even going to meet her mother, who happens to live in Hong Kong. The morning we were scheduled to pull in, we get word that we still haven’t been approved for Diplomatic Clearance to enter. Anxiously, we wait off the coast thinking that maybe the Chinese Government will allow us to pull in. No such luck.

So my fiancé is waiting patiently, excited as ever, only to get a call from me trying desperately to explain to her that we won’t be together again until I take leave in December. Factor in that she only has about $100 USD to her name and that her stay is scheduled for 5 days, and you can see the financial dilemma. Not to mention, that she has no credit cards, or way of getting money really, and now you have a very stressed out sailor who is sincerely concerned about the well being of the love of his life.

Thankfully, I was able to get an emergency phone line to one, tell her I wouldn’t make it, and two try and wire money from my bank to Western Union. See, my bank Check Cards aren’t accepted by Western Union, so the only way for me to send money via Western Union is by calling my bank and having them do the transfer. I still don’t know if my fiancé was able to get the money I sent her… and the phone lines aren’t working right now… so I am even more stressed out than I was before.

Right about now, you are probably thing “well, you said her mom is there right? Can’t her mom take care of her?” The answer is complicated at best… her mom is working a lot an unable to be with her all the time, as for the financial situation, I’m not really sure. All I know is that this is my future wife and that I am ultimately responsible for her basic needs (as a good husband should.)

So until I can secure a line, call my bank, and verify that things are right, I will continue to lose sleep and worry that my fiancé is not doing so well. All I know, is that I have found yet another reason why I don’t enjoy the Navy as much as I once did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog looking for why the Chinese government did what they did. I am so sorry for what happened to you and your fellow crew members. And the family members who traveled so far for nothing.

I hope things work out for you and yours.

As a red blooded American I will never ever forgive China for this. Talk about tin-eared when it comes to public relations. First China gave us all the lead toys, then the poisoned food, and the poisoned pet food,then the child's bead set that turn into date-rape drugs and now this.

How do we know how they will treat tourists during the Olympics next year. Maybe you can see the event, maybe you can't, maybe you have a hotel room, maybe you don't.

Anyway, it is Thanksgiving. And my family is grateful for you and your crew members service to our country and for being away from home and loved ones to do so. . Our military keeps us safe and free.

And we are grateful. My mother was a little girl in Germany when Patton's army came over the Alps to save them. She raised me to really understand the freedom the American military brings to the world.

When she was financially able to buy any car she wanted she picked a white Jeep. I thought it was a weird choice for a lady of her age.

Then she told me why. It reminded her of Patton's Jeep. It was a symbol of her love of America and freedom.

Take care. Happy Thanksgiving!