First Deployment overseas, as a young sailor. Excitement and nervousness slowly started to settle in as the first day came. Just kept thinking of the new places that I would get to experience and the change of working pace. Tried playing it off to my co-workers as if nothing bothered me. Little did they know inside I was as nervous as a squirrel being chased by a dog. I was playing it off well nobody seemed to notice.
Day 1 overseas, nothing but blue around me land was nowhere in sight. With my luck we drove straight into a storm, “thanks captain!” I thought to myself. Boat begins to sway back and forth, not too bad at first until we hit the big waves. It was impossible to walk, I started feeling queasy. One of the more experienced sailors asked if I was fine, I played it off as excitement. He looked at me with concern,but assured him I was fine. It seemed to work perfectly fine, I had played it off well. Lunch time comes along, worst possible timing! The boat had started to sway even worse. Stomach started churning, felt dizzy, there was no way I could eat anything now.
Fellow Sailor asked me to go eat with him, I didn't want to give anything away. I put on a brave face and followed him to the lunch line. All I could think of was trying to come up with an excuse not to eat. Unfortunately, nothing came to mind. The line seemed to move so quickly, closer and closer to my doom. Soon enough I was at the end of the line.
The smell of the food could have done it, but once again I had to power through this, all I had to do was take a couple bites. I couldn't let everyone know how I truly felt, I would never live it down. I could hear it now, all the jokes and name calling. It would last all of deployment! I couldn't let them have that over me. I tried walking with my tray in my hand, suddenly the boat hit a huge wave. I stumbled across the mess decks, trying to juggle my food tray. Briefly thought about dropping my food, but that would only give them ammo for their unrelentless jokes. As I walk to the table full of guys, I sit down and try to come up with a excuse. Again, nothing why did I keep coming up with blanks? Gave myself a little motivational speech, munched on the food. I went better than expected, even got complimented on how well I was handling myself.
Or so I thought, as soon as I got up. I felt the uneasiness rushing back. I tried to make it to the scullery as soon as possible. Just what I needed,another line. I didn't know how long I could last. Luckily none of the guys were around. Finally put my stuff away, started racing to the nearest bathroom. There was no avoiding the inevitable, as I made my way through the mass amounts of sailors that seemed to come out of nowhere, I realized I was lost. Finally made my way to the hangar bay. It just so happened to be my lucky day, until I saw my whole shop and supervisor calling me over to them. I had no other option but to go over there. The feeling in my stomach was getting worse. I made it over there fine. The guys started joking around about all the new people getting sea sick already. They asked me how I was doing. I couldn't get the three words out that I need to. I’m feeling fine, instead what came out was vomit. In front of everyone in my shop, including my supervisor. They kept making jokes of how much it sounded like RAAAALPH.For the next seven months I was known as Ralph.