July 20, 1969 is burned into my memory because of two things.
First, our ship, WILLIAM H. STANDLEY (DLG-32) returned to it’s home port in Mayport, Florida that day from our first Vietnam tour. Betty was back in Brentwood, Tennessee with her father and step-mother and she was expecting our first child in about a month. Since I didn’t have anyone to go home to, I volunteered to stay on board as Officer of the Deck for a couple of days so the married guys could re-unite with their families.
A couple of us sat before our black and white TV in the ship’s wardroom to watch the event which is the second important thing that day that I will never forget.
Late that evening, dead tired, we watched Neil Armstrong make that first step onto the moon’s surface. With that step our world changed and we are celebrating that step today, 50 years later…