I can’t count high enough to tell you the number of times someone has asked me, “When did Josh leave?” or “Will he be home by *insert birthday/anniversary/holiday here*?” My answer is usually a polite shrug and a quiet “a while ago” and “not sure.” Inside my head though I’m freaking out. Are you really asking me this? In public? Who’s listening? Who KNOWS?
So I am writing this for everyone who has ever and will ever ask those questions. My answer is this:
I can’t tell you at Safeway. I can’t tell you in an email. I can’t tell you over the phone. I can’t whisper it. I can’t tell you “in code.”
I’m sorry. I just can’t tell you.
Submarines schedules are a secret, a closely guarded secret, for a very good reason. In addition to the weapons they carry, every submarine carries the most precious of precious cargoes … sailors. Sadly there are very bad people in the world who don’t think my sailor is precious, who would really like to have or destroy the weapons on board, and who don’t care one fig about who they have to hurt to do it.
And they are smart. They listen. They look for clues everywhere as to those submarine schedules. Are they listening on my phone? Maybe. Are they looking at my email and Facebook. It’s possible. Are they using every sneaky trick in the book to get the information they are looking for? ABSOLUTELY! And the very idea that I could utter that last piece of the puzzle that puts my sailor (or yours!) in jeopardy, frankly scares the crap out of me!
So the next time you wonder when my sailor (or his, or hers) left or will be home, just keep wondering; don’t ask. The next time I can’t tell you exact dates of my summer vacation or if Josh will be home for your 4th of July BBQ, just keep wondering; don’t ask. When you think you absolutely MUST know when or where, ask yourself this question:
Are you willing to risk his safety just so you can know a date?
If your answer is no, then there’s your answer.
If your answer is yes, then I have a completely different, and possibly more colorful answer, for you.