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What can I say

Discussion in 'Military' started by river rat 69, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:14 AM
    #1
    river rat 69

    river rat 69 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    I emailed my friend and former Marine sergeant, Mrs. Mandy McCammon, who's currently serving as a Navy Public Affairs Officer, at midnight on 28 May. I asked Mandy if she had enough pull on any of the bases in San Diego to get me access for the day so I could give Bud, who served on USS Dewey (DD-349), a windshield tour.

    The next day she sent me an email from the current USS Dewey (DDG 105)'s XO, CDR Mikael Rockstad, inviting us down to the ship two days later.

    We linked up with Mandy outside Naval Base San Diego and carpooled to the pier where we were greeted by CMDCM Joe Grgetich and a squad-sized group of Sailors. Bud started to cry before the doors of the van opened. He'd been oohing and pointing at the cyclic rate as we approached the pier, but when we slowed down and Mandy said, "They're all here for you, Bud," he was overwhelmed.

    After we were all out of the van directly in front of the Dewey, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries, Petty Officer Simon introduced himself and said as the ship's Sailor of the Year he had the honor of pushing Bud's wheelchair for the day. Unbeknownst to us, they'd decided to host Bud aboard the Dewey, not at the Dewey. And so they carried him aboard. None of us expected him to go aboard the ship. I'd told him we were going down to the base and would have the chance to meet and greet a few of the Sailors from the new Dewey. He was ecstatic. The day before, he asked every few hours if we were "still going down to visit the boys from the Dewey," and "do they know I was on the Dewey, too?"

    Once aboard, we were greeted by the CO, CDR Jake Douglas, the XO and a reinforced platoon-sized group of Sailors. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. These men and women waited in line to introduce themselves to Bud. They shook his hand, asked for photos with him, and swapped stories. It was simply amazing.

    They didn't just talk to him, they listened.

    Bud's voice was little more than a weak whisper at this point and he'd tell a story and then GMC Eisman or GSCS Whynot would repeat it so all of the Sailors on deck could hear. In the midst of the conversations, Petty Officer Flores broke contact with the group. Bud was telling a story and CMDCM Grgetich was repeating the details when Flores walked back into view holding a huge photo of the original USS Dewey. That moment was priceless. Bud stopped mid-sentence and yelled, "There she is!" They patiently stood there holding the photo while he told them about her armament, described the way it listed after it was hit, and shared other details about the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

    Bud finally admitted how tired he was after more than an hour on deck. While they were finishing up goodbyes and taking last minute photographs, GMC Eisman asked if it'd be OK to bring Sailors up to visit Bud in a few months after a Chief's board. I hadn't said it yet because I didn't want it to dampen the spirit of the day, but I quietly explained to GMC Eisman the reason we'd asked for the visit was simple: Bud was dying.

    I told him they were welcome to come up any time they wanted, but I suspected Bud had about a month left to live. Almost without hesitation, he asked if the crew could provide the burial honors when the time came. I assured him that'd be an honor we'd welcome.

    Leaving the ship was possibly more emotional than boarding.


    [​IMG] Bud is piped ashore from USS Dewey (DDG 105). Photo submitted by Jennie Haskamp.




    They piped him ashore. CMDCM Grgetich leaned in and quietly told me how significant that honor was and who it's usually reserved for as we headed towards the gangplank. Hearing "Electrician's Mate Second Class William Bud Cloud, Pearl Harbor Survivor, departing" announced over the 1MC was surreal.

    Later that night Bud sat in his recliner, hands full of ship's coins and declared, "I don't care what you do with my power tools; you better promise you'll bury me with these."

    He died 13 days later. For 12 of those 13 days he talked about the Dewey, her Sailors and his visit to San Diego. Everyone who came to the house had to hear the story, see the photos, hold the coins, read the plaques.

    True to his word, GMC Eisman arranged the details for a full honors burial. The ceremony was simple yet magnificent. And a perfect sendoff for an ornery old guy who never, ever stopped being proud to be a Sailor. After the funeral, the Sailors came back to the house for the reception and spent an hour with the family. This may seem like a small detail, but it's another example of them going above and beyond the call of duty, and it meant more to the family than I can explain.

    There are more photos, and I'm sure I missed a detail, or a name. What I didn't miss and will never forget, is how unbelievable the men and women of the USS Dewey were. They opened their ship and their hearts and quite literally made a dream come true for a dying Sailor.

    They provided the backdrop for "This is the best day of my life, daughter. I never in my whole life dreamed I'd step foot on the Dewey again or shake the hand of a real life Sailor."

    Without question, it's the best example of Semper Fidelis I've ever seen.:cool:
     
  2. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:18 AM
    #2
    Boone

    Boone Vaginas are rad.

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    Speechless.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  3. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:24 AM
    #3
    flatblack

    flatblack Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that story
     
  4. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:32 AM
    #4
    Nickel

    Nickel Well-Known Member

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    does turning tires to black wall out count? How bout added snug top rebel.
    Awesome!
     
  5. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:37 AM
    #5
    rick

    rick `

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    absolutely incredible RIP Bud Cloud, may you never be forgotten
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  6. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:37 AM
    #6
    LeftyTom

    LeftyTom Well-Known Member

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    That does bring a tear to my eye.
     
  7. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:41 AM
    #7
    virginiamarine

    virginiamarine Well-Known Member

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    Huge throat lump! Fair winds and following seas bud....rip!

    This is a reminder to ensure we always acknowledge our veterans and to make certain that all veterans have the right to a military burial having served honorably.

    Having done dozens of military funerals in the SE PA and NJ region (even a couple Air Force and Army)....it was always an honor to ensure that our veterans were saluted one final time. It never mattered if they only served a few years.....they're service was always acknowledged. Something many of the families were always astonished by since most never spoke of their service, so seeing a platoon of Marines showing up to carry the casket, fold the flag, shoot 3 volleys, and present the flag....really leaves an impression of respect and grattitude that can't be bought.
     
  8. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:44 AM
    #8
    RearViewMirror

    RearViewMirror Saw things so much clearer once you... were in my

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    Amazing Story!

    Rest in Peace Electrician's Mate Second Class William Bud Cloud, Pearl Harbor Survivor.

    May you and the many men and women that serve never be forgotten.
     
  9. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:46 AM
    #9
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    You are all Heroes. God Bless.
     
  10. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:48 AM
    #10
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    Awesome story, Jim. Thanks for posting it up :oldglory:
     
  11. Dec 11, 2013 at 5:51 AM
    #11
    HomerTaco

    HomerTaco That "grill guy" Vendor

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    Thanks for posting this Jim. :thumbsup:
     
  12. Dec 11, 2013 at 6:05 AM
    #12
    Lray

    Lray Member

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    somebody needs to forward this to Gov. Mike Huckabee's radio show. There is a lot controversy with religion being taken out of the military. Some people are getting a bad taste in their mouths. I'm not railing against that, but there are still people who are doing right. It would be nice to blast this across the country.
     
  13. Dec 11, 2013 at 6:12 AM
    #13
    puppytruk

    puppytruk Well-Known Member

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    Thank God for men like Bud !
    and all who serve, especially under fire. May your sacrifices never be forgotten by us, the forever indebted. God bless you all !
     
  14. Dec 11, 2013 at 6:26 AM
    #14
    TacoDaTugBoat

    TacoDaTugBoat Well-Known Member

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    Thank You!
     
  15. Dec 11, 2013 at 6:44 AM
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    tgrizzle73

    tgrizzle73 Well-Known Member

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    Um... my eyes are sweating. Is it hot in hear? Great story. Thanks for sharing that.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2013 at 6:50 AM
    #16
    belone12

    belone12 Well-Known Member

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    That was awesome. I am really glad I read that despite the swelling in my throat.
     
  17. Dec 11, 2013 at 6:54 AM
    #17
    Pyrite Mica

    Pyrite Mica Well-Known Member

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    Did not expect to wake up and read this in the morning!
    As others have said 'brings tears to the eyes'. Great story and tribute!
    Thank you.
     
  18. Dec 11, 2013 at 7:04 AM
    #18
    Glueman

    Glueman Yersinia pestis

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    Thanks for sharing this very touching story. It's all about the war fighter.
     
  19. Dec 11, 2013 at 7:15 AM
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    river rat 69

    river rat 69 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    When I found this on one of my Vet sites. I knew I had to share this on every site Im on. I know the Marines will not mind, So every time I read this I say Oorah for them & Hooyah for all my Navy brothers. I Salute you Mr. Bud & those like you, Dam few....Jim
     
  20. Dec 11, 2013 at 7:19 AM
    #20
    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    Man Jim, beautiful story, brought tears to my eyes.
     
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