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I Remember

Here's to us, one and all
Who heard the message and answered the call
To break away from the old mainstream and live our lives on a submarine.
Sub School gave us the chance to pass the test
To declare that we were The Best of the Best.
When we left New London with orders in hand
We all headed out on different courses for distant, faraway lands.
Some went East coast some went West
But no matter where you ended up, your first boat's the best.
You reported on board not knowing what to think
But now you're known to all as a nub and a dink.

You learn about Tradition and learn about Pride,
You learn about Honor and the men who have died,
You learn about the heritage that's been passed on to you
Because now you're considered one of the crew.
You study that boat from bow to stern
From the conning tower to the bilges, it's your duty to learn
Where and what makes that boat go, how it operates and in what direction it flows
How to charge those batteries and keep them alive or how to rig the boat for dive
Draw those systems fore and aft, blow the shitters, Check the draft
These are duties that you must glean when you live your life on a submarine
When you've learned all there is to know about your boat
You show 'em you know it, by your walk through vote
You go before the Qual Board, card in hand
Where they question and grill you to beat the band
And when you think you can take no more
They tell you to wait just outside the door.
For what seems like eons, Time stands still
And when they call you in, you feel quite ill!
But they congratulate you for doing so good
And welcome you into their Brotherhood.
Right of passage declares that you must drink your "fish".
And the tacking on process is not something you wish
But you wear those dolphins on your chest with pride
Because down deep in your heart, you know you're Qualified.

It seems like yesterday, it seems like a dream
That I truly lived on a submarine
Most Boats are gone, a memory of time
I wonder what happened to that crew of mine?
The Old Boats that are left, are all museums
And even if you rode 'em, you have to pay admission to see 'em.
So here's to us, those that remember
Who rode the boats out in all kinds of weather
To those past, present and even the future
To those young, hardy lads who still love adventure
So let's lift our glasses and have a toast
To the memory of those daring young sailors and their undersea boats.

Dick Murphy IC3-SS
USS Tiru SS-416

(Given at the 1st USS Tiru SS 416 Reunion Charleston, South Carolina October 29, 2003)