Over the decades I served in the Navy I packed many a bag, often “living out of a suitcase” for extended periods of time. These “bags” have varied quite a bit. I’ve used briefcases, duffle bags, hanger bags, folding hanger bags, hard suitcases, soft suitcases, cardboard boxes, grocery sacks, and footlockers (cruise boxes as we called them). In addition, when flying I carried a helmet bag, map cases, navigation bags and, on occasion, barf bags. Thankfully, I never personally packed one of the latter.
In my helmet bag I always packed a few essentials – snacks, a toothbrush, extra cigarettes and a few dollars carefully hidden. Anytime we took off, we could never be certain when or where we would sleep that night.
On my travels throughout life I always tried to pack my bags carefully, never leaving anything I would have to reclaim. I did this, with one major exception. The Navy told me to pack light when I left home and headed for Pensacola. In doing so, I left much that was dear to me and essential to my being – my family, my childhood friends, my home and the land where tall cotton once grew. For these, I returned.
Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy Commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to email@example.com.