On Dogs, Man, and the Navy

When an unmarried man retires, divorces himself from the Navy, and takes off his uniform for the last time, he often loses something quiet.  It is subtle, this change, and those first years out of khaki, dress-blues can be troubling.  Mark Butterworth's book, A Man with Three Great German Shepherds (and 1,000 Troy Ounces of Gold) writes of one such Sailor, Chief Warrant Officer Dan Martin.  Men of his rank come in two seasonings: salty and saltier.  And Dan excretes handfuls of both.  The Warrant is old-fashioned; he believes in propriety and respect.  Precisely when such admirable traits turned fuddy-duddy perplexes him.  Throughout the novel, while society's moral fiber creaks and strains around him, Dan longs for simpler times, before punks and skateboarding and Pit Bulls. As a naval officer, I know many of this old breed, hardworking and loyal.  Team players, but not glory hounds.  When Dan finally hangs it up, he faces the divorce...(Read Full Article)

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