Dear Wigleaf,

There seems to be some confusion about where I live. In November of 2006 I moved to San Diego, a city I'd sworn I was done with; but as is so often the case, the city wasn't done with me.

I joined the Navy while I was still in high school and was sent to San Diego shortly after graduation. I was only here a few months before the ship I was stationed on deployed on a six-month cruise. We were supposed to go to the Persian Gulf, but on our way to Hawaii, the captain came over the 1MC and announced that the U.S.S. Stark had been attacked by Iraqi jet fighters. 37 sailors died, and we were sent to the Western Pacific instead.

San Diego is a sailor town and while that's nice for veterans it sucks for the squids, especially the horny 19-year-olds, who are quick to discover that their welcome was worn out a long time ago. There's nowhere to go but Tijuana, which isn't as bad as it sounds. It's actually much, much worse, but I contend this is a good thing.

When my time in the Navy was up, I couldn't go down the gangplank fast enough. USN. Never again. And that went double for San Diego, but here I am, back in San Diego. I live just a few miles from the Navy base.

My mother believes there's a reason why I'm here. Back in 1967, my father was stationed at North Island in Coronado for swift boat training before he shipped out to Vietnam. For a brief time, my parents had an apartment right on the beach, and that's where I was conceived. Right here in San Diego.

In other words, I was spawned here, and like a salmon swimming back and forth across the Pacific, I have returned to these familiar waters to raise my own family. I may not have known where I was going, but my instincts have guided me home.

Yours sincerely,


- - -

Read JR's "The Unbeknownst."

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