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By Gary Gard

Dedicated to those on eternal patrol.

Sometimes in, the midnight watches,
Across my dreams, again I see,
A crew of young, men standing to their stations,
To take an old fast attack boat out to sea
The captain orders, “shift the colors”,
As the lines, are slipped from shore,
Then “clear the sail, and dog the hatches”
As she slips beneath the stormy waves once more

Take her down, take her deep
Hear the old hull groan and creak
As she prowls, where the ocean’s dark and cold
Mind your bubble, mind your course
Take this old boat back “up north”
Where she’ll run on eternal patrol

All the crew, are young and eager,
As they were, those years before
When they first, pinned on their dolphins
And sailed into, that old “cold war”
Father Time, no longer stalks them
For these men, the clock has ceased
Years, months, and days, have no more meaning
From the laws of this old earth, they’ve been released


This old boat, runs with her sisters
Five eighty nine, five ninety three
And I know, someday her watch bill
Will hold, a place for me
One day my captain, will hold quarters
And the chief, will call the roll
So I’ll step up, and man my station
With my shipmates on eternal patrol

I’ll take her down, and take her deep
Once more I’ll hear the old hull creak
As she runs, where the ocean’s dark and cold
I will steer my final course
And take that old boat back “up north”
With my shipmates on eternal patrol

From the author: I wrote this about 3 years ago, after a mini-reunion with a couple of old shipmates. We drank a toast to those now on eternal patrol and I began to think of the time we all must join them.

Gary Gard
MM3(SS) "A" Gang
USS Barb SSN596