That's a keeper. Bookmarked locally and remotely. Thanks!
Just received this from Charles Welty. It is an email response to his
"Letter to My Son."
I wish to commend you on your excellent
letter to your son. You did a great job at summarizing so much that is
relevant today. Your sentiments - I would call statements of fact, but
much of what you spoke of seems to be things that are not being taught to
the present generation, and are rapidly being forgotten by society.
I wish I could have been as eloquent when my
son departed last summer, following a similar path as your son. He started
a 4 year period at the United States Naval Academy, and hopes to become a
nuclear trained submarine officer. (He is finishing up a 3rd class cruise
... headed for Japan after an under-ice crossing to go from the Atlantic
Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on a nuclear submarine. His brief report after
emerging from under-ice was that he was having a fantastic time and
learning a lot.)
As a graduate of the Nuclear Power training
pipeline myself, some 30 years ago, I can say that it is a fantastic
training opportunity - but it is one full of hard work. Be sure that your
son receives frequent encouragement!! He will work harder - academically -
than he ever has in his life.
After the 24 weeks of classroom training, he
will then spend another challenging 26 weeks learning to operate an actual
nuclear reactor at a prototype training facility, under the watchful eyes
of highly qualified personnel who themselves completed the training, and
demonstrate the requisite skills of both nuclear power plant operations
AND the ability to teach and train the future operators.
Again - it will be an intense period, where
he will work 12 hour shifts until he completes the qualifications. After
the training, he will report to a ship (the only surface ships with
nuclear power plants are aircraft carriers) or a submarine, where he will
essentially repeat his prototype experience, and qualify as a watchstander
on the Navy vessel.
When that happens, he will be near final
qualification of a Surface Warfare qualification pin or a Submarine
Qualification pin ("dolphins") - a major milestone in his life, and one
that deserves high recognition!
Take care, and best regards to your son.
V/R Michael Vineyard, CAPT, USNR(ret)