When Your Husband Wears Dolphins

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October 2, 2013 by comhomflt

The passing of Tom Clancy, author of The Hunt for Red October, has brought to mind once again all the little things my husband does or says that remind me he wears dolphins. It’s true that I have never experienced life as the wife of an active duty submariner, with all its challenges and excitement; but I have lived with a former Nuke for more than a decade now, and I can assure you that he doesn’t pin those dolphins on in vain each month! I think I probably tried to hide the first time the klaxon ring tone went off, but I finally learned to ride with the tide. Here are a few of the many (daily) reminders that my husband wears dolphins:

      • I have watched enough submarine movies to have a top 10 list. (das Boot is #1.)
      • Crimson Tide is at the bottom of the list because of its “unrealistic” portrayal of submarine operations.
      • I have recently watched a clip from das Boot or The Hunt for Red October.
      • Our newborns were all “stowed for sea” prior to leaving the hospital.
      • My husband picks out the “sea foam green” paint chips at the hardware store.
      • When touring the Nautilus, the first words he says after descending the ladder are, “Ahhh, boat smell.”
      • He wouldn’t mind if I cooked four meals a day; one every six hours.
      • The kids do a weekly “field day” of their play area and bedrooms.
      • When he texts me, I hear a sonar ping.
      • I am no longer fazed when I hear a klaxon ring tone while we are out together.
      • He has, at one time or another, voiced the wish for a phone talking system in our house.
      • I know what “hot racking” is (and I still think it’s gross!).
      • I have had the Three Mile Island incident dissected in gritty detail and compared (negatively) to the Navy’s operations of nuclear power plants.
      • I know who Hyman G. Rickover is.
      • I know how to say “Yokosuka.”
      • We celebrate “Hono Day” (July 18) and “Hono Time” (7:18).
      • He gets up at “O dark thirty” (not zero dark thirty).
      • We have poopie suits in the attic, along with a couple of sea bags.
      • I have to hide the submarine glasses so he doesn’t wear the ugly things!
      • We tell our son to take a “Navy shower.” (He prefers Hollywood showers.)
      • He keeps secrets from me.
      • He responds with “Very well” when I tell him something.
      • He asks for “Christmas dinner” when he wants to come in the room. (Translation: “Request permission to enter.”)
      • He refers to our post-kid-bedtime nightly routine as, “Rig ship for night watch.”
      • He refers to the need for quiet as, “Rig ship for silent running.”
      • He can make efficient use of the tiniest storage spaces. (I like that part!)
      • I know to refer to his sub as a “boat.”
      • I have discussed reactor principles and the desalinization of water over dinner.
      • I know that, no matter how cool Tom Clancy’s book may be, real subs could not operate that closely without a collision. Still, The Hunt for Red October ranks at probably #2 on my submarine movie top ten list, barely edging out Run Silent, Run Deep.

I hope this list makes you smile, at least, and maybe even makes you watch a submarine movie this weekend. And the next time you hear a klaxon, it’s very possible my LT is somewhere nearby!


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