Back a few weeks ago, I posted a poem and one in one of the comments I referenced a ‘teddy rabbit’ that I had. I never really gave explanation, nor a name, but I feel it’s time that I do.
His name is Herman, and as you can see, he is in fact a rabbit. Where the story of Herman starts I honestly don’t remember. I have this feeling that somewhere in the beginning of my marriage, I acquired him and he became my traveling companion. My wife might have bought him for me or we bought him together, but like I said, I’m not really sure. His moniker is just as much a mystery, lost in time and long ago memories.
What I do know is that he has been to the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, all around the Atlantic Ocean, through the Suez Canal, through the Panama Canal, crossed the Equator, gone around Cape Horn and South America, and all about the Caribbean Sea. Oh, and he is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, even though his paperwork for acceptance by the military has never been filed or responded too.
Basically, he went with me on my last two Naval cruises and numerous underway operations. (he might have been on my first, however, old age has done a pretty good job of causing that memory to elude me (have you noticed I seem to have forgotten a lot about his entry into my life?))
He sat in my locker, always there to greet me whenever I opened it. Tucked away as a little reminder of what I was out there fighting for. My family back home.
The teddy rabbit may be something that my fellow veterans would (and will) most likely poke fun at me about, but the idea behind him is something every person who has ever been deployed completely understands and something that those who haven’t could never quite identify with.
Out there, thousands of miles away from your family, it’s easy to get lost doing your “job”. It’s easy to let this day turn to that day and never once think back on those you care about. Realizing that doing so will cause you to lose your edge or focus, and that can lead to someone getting hurt, or even dying and that is just not acceptable because there is a lot out there that is already trying to do that to us.
But, you need those things that take you back to a moment that reminds you, something that ties you back to reality. Something that ties you back to home.
For me, that was Herman, the travelling teddy rabbit.
Hrm, maybe one day I will use him as a main character in a children’s book.