THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

This morning I got a small package in the mail from the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Association.

When I first retired from the Coast Guard on February 29, 1996, it had been a good experience, but it was time to move on when I left.

So I walked away and was determined to move on and become a “civilian”.

I didn’t want to be one of those military retirees, who continued to be what they were in the military, even after they were done and gone.  For almost 10 years I purposely avoided involvement with military organizations, web sites and focused on just being a civilian.

Oh I kept up my dues and read my monthly magazines, I didn’t want to completely lose contact.  I wasn’t bitter about my military service, I just needed time to ensure that I had moved on, I had entered the Coast Guard 11 days after graduating high school at 17 years old, when I retired that was all I had known for work in my adult life.

Over the past 3-4 years I have reached a balance that works for me regarding my former life in the military and my present life as a civilian.  I am extremely proud of my military service and what I accomplished while I was in the Coast Guard and I am very proud of my civilian career choices.

Inside the package was a short memo

1 June 2010
From: Executive Director
To:  CPOA Member
Subj:  Twenty-five Year Pin

At the 33rd Annual National Convention held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Board of Directors approved awarding a commemorative pin to member who have attained 25 years of continuous member in our association.  Our association records show, as of 1 August 2010, you are qualified to receive this honor.  I hope you will wear the enclosed pin proudly.

Your continued membership is greatly appreciated.

T.R. Scaramastro

I had to smile when I read this little reminder of a completely different life that I had lived in the military.  I considered it very appropriate that T.R. Scaramastro’s signature is that bottom of this memo.  Master Chief Tommy Scaramastro was someone that I got to know and relied upon his knowledge of the Coast Guard’s Personnel System many times.  He was and I would expect still a gracious gentleman that I attempted to model myself after – while I was in the Coast Guard.

He knew me by a different name back then and I wonder when he addressed the envelope to Harold Shaw, Jr., if he remembered that guy he had talked and worked with so much back in the day, also had a different name. When I was in the Coast Guard no one really knew Harold Shaw, I was  “RADAR” to almost everyone, except for the time I was a Chief Petty Officer and was called “Chief’.  I wonder if he remembered my real name?  Oh well even if you didn’t, I remember you Master Chief Scaramastro.

My DOR as a Chief Petty Officer was October 1, 1984.  I was 27 years old and full of piss and vinegar.  I thought that I was on top of the world on that day and you know something, I was.  I still smile when I think back to that day and my initiation a few days later…rather crude but effective, I still remember what I was supposed to.

Do I miss those days – yep a little bit (I believe we all miss our youth a little), but I believe that I am almost as happy today as I was then, I just am not as full of piss and vinegar, but have a little more sand in my pants and my knee hurts a lot more.

SEMPER PARATUS and thank you Tommy for the memories.

Yes I will wear this pin with Pride and I am looking  forward to receiving that gold pin they give you at 50 years service in another 25 years.