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Once upon a time, the Navy assigned me to a brand new ship while it was still being built. There were a few of us out in San Diego, and whoever was heading up the PRECOMM detatchment set up a flight for us to see Decatur hit the water. Alas, the winds delayed it and plane schedules meant we couldn't stay, but we did get to go to the party, among other things.

We got to meet the ship's sponsor, Joan Shalikashvili, who is a really nice lady who came to visit the ship a few times. Her husband, who was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came with her. <a=href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/24/retired-army-gen-john-shalikashvili-dies/">He passed away this weekend,</a> and Mrs. S has my sympathy for her loss.

I will always remember how the General took the time to meet us all, and take a photo with us, and talk with us for a moment when I know there must have been a million other things (including some scandal popping up on an Army base) that he could have been doing instead. We were really nobodies--he could have spent his time with the senior folks and shipyard leaders and community leaders--but he gave us all a few minutes.

Fair winds and following seas, General. Thank you for everything.

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