Posted on Aug 28, 2020
PO3 Aaron Hassay
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Will you protect me?

I mean it is something I have to deal with to communicate after being medicated on and off for like 25 years and multiple concussions.
If you read some of my other posts you see that I am just finally going through some kind of grieving processing understanding that my dad two years ago (RIP) Michael Hassay was infact a Army Infantry Soldier Vietnam 66-68 when it was not cool to be a veteran.

He had a son me by 1976. But no one talked of or knew he was a veteran. He could not caretake past my 8th Birthday. This was probably the 1 war or era when being a veteran or a dependent of a veteran was not well received, and hence no va care was accessed or benefits accessed and so he would end up having very rough time for 40 years lose his family and I would be in womens shelters with a young mom who was embarressed and never went for any welfare or foodstamps. We moved around a lot. Admittingly it was rough and I was possiblly depressed at different times. But I found good times and success in sports namely baseball and cross country and track where in high school I was on successful varsity teams as one of the best runners with a honest 4 36 mile and a 10 minute 2 mile.

So I joined the Navy trying to take the place of my missing father in 1994 18. I was recruited in to the Navy in a reserve enlistment that offered advertised college education, and I wanted to go to college and serve at the same time. I had a quick idea to be an officer by 22. But this was a way to know what it was like to be an e1 at the same time. It was a 8 year obligated enlistment. I signed everything. I went to bootcamp. I had a good time. I won the bootcamp mile. There was a Navy SEAL there to greet the winners. Regardless I had a good time. I was meritoriously graduated. You only find out that is possible on the day of graduation when you win the award. Regardless when I am given a even start line I am going to succeed. If you start me 4 laps back I will probably lose and fail. If you put uknowing to me, put 100 lb of extra gear, more then the next guy, in my sea bag and make me hike I will probably fail fall apart or get injured somehow someway psychologically or physically , if we are supposed to be operating in sync.

But regardless after bootcamp I did not know what to expect. And this is where my life changed. I had never done this before. I mean in bootcamp we were on a Ship Trainer for all of a few days or week. I can not remember exactly. I think someone with a reserve enlsitment might think they are going to be in a reserve center.

But what if you put that 18 year old guy with all the forward momentum, with a successful in bootcamp experience, and assign him to an active operational combatant unit like a Navy Guided Missle Frigate that is undermanned on the full time crew, and you are there to take a billet, in support, for an unknown amount of time, possibly the whole 8 years. This is your first duty assignment.

For those who do not know what a Navy Guided Missile Frigate might be like operationally just imagine it is possibly as complex as a NASA Space Shuttle, with advanced gear, and also with the goal of war, and weapons, and defense of your own nation. SO you at 18 take it very serious. You dont know the difference.

You have to perform every month for a few days weeks months depending on the orders. You are only paid for the days you are there. SO your average yearly salary will range from 4000 to 8000 to pay for rent, food off the ship.
You wont have any medical access off the ship. You will have to silently be confused with something called motion illness that may take days or a week to recover from.

You thought that you were going to be able to concentrate and study and graduate by 22 an commision.

But you have no idea in college how many other sailors have this same duty assignment. It is not like you went to 32nd street and musterd with guys in your same enlistment and then were split off to the ship. No you did not know if this was a normal Navy Duty assignment or odd and abnormal to be assigned as a apprentice e2 to a ship, like this.

You will later find out 20 years later that a young guy with a real reserve enlistment assigned as crew to an active ship is so completely abnormal that you have still yet to meet another.

The only guys who made it to the ship were prior full time who entered into the reserve side or full time guys on the ship.

In deck you are going to be used and qualified to stand every watch, damage control, helm etc etc to be ready for recall at a moments notice, and to stand in an relieve watches for the over taxed undermanned full time crew at sea in work ups for deployment.

The senior guys know you are really unique with no prior full time experience. But they dont really identity that you are actually broke financially with no health care insurance off the ship and basically confused on and off the ship being put on and off the ship and having to match wits and always feeling slow and confused and hurting or frozen scared for your life at times when general quarters is called or helo ops hits or man over board drills or your are on the helm with the OOD, or midwatch forward lookout frozen in high seas puking at times and you are freaking out trying to like believe that you are somehow going to get through this. You actually have to bring all the manuals home and read then. But if this was the NFL you would read the play book manuals and excersise and train with the team and get some trust going and apprentice achieve and grow and accompish. But in this scenario you stay up for days on the ship and read manuals at home alone.

You got to remember that I was assigned to deck department possibly one of the most taxing dangerous exposed departments on the ship. This is where most the 18 year olds go, from what I understand sort of like the 18 year old grunts in the Army.

So you are dealing with all the 18 year olds trying to figure out the pecking order and based on ability and experience will separate. But if you are always the most inexperienced when on the ship the imagine how you will be dealt, if you can imagine what the slowest most confused guy got in bootcamp.

Some not all of the guys on the ship will tell you physically or verbally that you are a sexually desired and or that you don't fit in or naturally because you are not there all the time and your emotions are getting destroyed and by 22 you attempt a Navy Army transfer. That is 4 years in the on and off again experince on the ship. You heard and read the Army had more money for training. You never were given advanced training. The guys said it was odd I had not experienced full time duty yet. So I tried to go Army full time, start over. I was not sure I could get through bootcamp again. But I was in need of a change. And since I had no idea how much longer I would be assigned to the ship I made the transfer request on the ship to the Army.

You have to do the ASVAB again. My asvab had gone down by nearly 10 points I would find out, And You have to do the whole psychical again.

It took months to complete at MEPS. I was surprised with a psych eval. A week later the ARmy recruiter told me it was a permanent failure and there was nothing he could do for me on a phone call and bye. I was in freaking shock speechless and scared. I felt I had done something wrong and I felt I had lost a race I could not even comprehend what race I was attempting to complete

My fiance left me soon after.

I was in complete shock.

I had no dad to rely on.

My mom watched it all. I am sure she was in shock (RIP)

I was having midlife crisis by 22 in a serious beyond normal way.


I looked back on my records recently that discovered I was still assigned to the ship for almost 1 year.

This is going to sound crazy. My fiance was working at Starbucks. By then I had started drinking a lot of coffee, i needed the stimulation, and I am sure my teeth were darker. I was also classed 3 and handed a note I had to pay for my own dental to clear the class 3 dental. I had to find a dentist and sort of dont remember much any longer past that. The dental I did get amounted to a lot of silver fillings that I recently found out have a lot of mercury. Of course I am always trying to figure out what is a stress and how that affects mental and physical health. One should know that silver fillings with mercury are thought to cause issues as well, and I believe europe banned it. The fillings are also something that crack and I have had multiple loss of teeth and abcess as a result of the filings falling out. I did not have insurance during and after the Navy to monitor these dental requirements put on me that made me deploy able.

I was crushed my fiance left me
So I got my disharge paper. I tried to move to mexico and lasted a few months thinking I would never make it back.
I did make it back to see my brother get married!

I started mowing lawns with a lawnmower I found. I was so depressed by 27 that it was actually painful. All that initial dreams of a 18 year old, and now I was just a 27 year old on my moms friends couch confused upset angry sad uneducated with a desire to be successful with a lawnmower tracking it around and someone gave me 20 dollars to mow their lawn.

10 years would go by.

I was in a suicide hospital. I did the rent trade barter thing with people I found on craiglsit for a few years, as often as I could to stay off the streets, or in my truck,



I met my dad like I originally discussed and discoverd I was actually the dependnet son of a real life RAMBO.

I made it to Oakland REgional VA. They used ever interpretation of reservist law to say I had no benefits as a reserve enlisted. It triggered so much anger as I was now then finally in a memory of every day of ever moment of my time and experience on a ship. I read something online that request for duty assignment are infact a signature of PTSD due assault, on a VA web site, adn the Navy Army transfer came flooding back.

I was in a fight for nearly 5 years.

My dad RIP was with god 2 months after that fight was done. I barely spent enough time. I was distracted trying to stabilize and fight for my own dignity with the va.

In my 7 years of trying to understand this, that I started to study, and put together and access reports. I have found nearly 10 seperate reports that are all public record that discuss the test to save money and underman a few ships, and put them in a command called the NRF Navy Reserve Force, and since these commands and even my exact enlistment are all gone. The navy inspector general at the time was noted in COMNAVRESFOR Instruction 5040.1 in 1995 and 5040.1A to report " systemic weakness in training and administration". The instructions were attempts to fix these systemic weakness.

I Guess what I am saying is well i feel like I am trying to understand things and well with what they say is a disablity that keeps me alone .





When I finally went to the VA
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LCDR Joshua Gillespie
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Brother-We all carry hidden wounds. My father was a real-life "Rambo" too; I'm fortunate he's still with us, and still showing me how to be a man I hope he's proud of. He didn't get to know his dad though; Grandad died at twenty-four in the Pacific-a "hero".

I went into the Navy with big shoes to fill, and many hopes for a meaningful career. I too learned that when it comes down to "numbers", Big Blue doesn't really care what we think... let alone, what we feel. I've struggled with many things directly resultant from years spent trying to "maintain" the unforgiving pace, sleepless nights, and unyielding standards of the Fleet. Anyone who says it's "easy"... simply hasn't been there. After all of that-the Navy denied me a $2 piece of stamped brass that would've meant more to me than any amount of money, retirement, or benefits. In my eyes, and the eyes of others... I earned it. I wheedled and connived my way into a ground assignment "looking" for honor... at any cost. What I learned instead was profound-the "honor" is in serving others with one's life, rather than oneself with a "good death".

You are not alone my friend; drop me a line anytime. Best wishes, and may God Bless.

Dizzy
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PO3 Aaron Hassay
PO3 Aaron Hassay
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Dizzy

Sir-

It’s hard not to return back to that 18 year old and be in awe of the XO on the ship.

I always had a bit of fear but respect for my officers. You had quite the career. Definitely mad respect. The way Big Blue pushes the Officers is still something I have yet to fully comprehend.

I dealt mostly with my 1st LT, but only a handful of times.

I am aware there are things I can learn from your perspective and history. So I am open to that.

It is interesting, although it did not work out, I was attempting in what I thought was something similar to ROTC, option to commission as on officer, in the enlistment I was recruited at 18. That officer dream focus got sidetracked really quickly in deck department. So my grammar is a bit off, as I never finished much education.

Man I have to say thanks for the positive words, and your story, a son following honorably in the steps of Rambo Was your dad an officer? I am thankful you still have your dad, that is a blessing for both!!

I say you are doing a great job as a friend, and reaching out actually picked me up, made me feel a bit of honor I needed. I am at 44 finally processing things that I could not at 18.

This computer is the best I have and works to a certain extent.

Our, dad’s and granddad’s had similar issues and history I am understanding. Sorry to hear about your Grandpa. I never met my grandpa either.

So the post last night is partly, because I am still going through some administrative things, connected to a BCNR I processed a few years ago. In the process of rebuilding my life I have experienced multiple reviews and I need each one to work

You know out of anyone I busted my ass on deck on a FFG and earned it. I got my sea service ribbon. So when I had to fight the VA, because they started using laws to attack and deny my enlistment package of course I started to melt down, life and death, distracted in last years of knowing my father. Silent wounds. Of course I would of like to have been granted a homeless housing voucher, right from the get go, not denied it for 4 years, based on the excuse of using my enlistment package not qualifying. I could of spent all those years, properly housed, a man with security, and getting closer to his dad, he had just met a few years previous. Instead I was doing odd things for temporary housing, and fighting the va, and also seeking support for the psych musculoskeletal and spine problem, that stopped a Navy Army Transfer in 1998.

I put that honorable, up to the test, my life and soul, and see what it is worth. When you are that young and doing those things with no regard of your future, then it is all about honor and pride, and money is not even a thought. So I am up in arms to a certain extent, isolated to a certain extent, counting on honor, pride and dignity, in my VA housing.

In this housing, I can relax a bit more, and readjust, and I started piecing together 3 generations of males, me, my dad, and grandpa that only recently, as in the last month, became real to me. A nice lady found me online and sent me something she had in her house. My grandpas WW2 Cruise book. I think you will appreciate that I just opened yesterday for the first time in my life, my Grandpas WW2 Destroyer Radford Cruise Album! This is leather bound WW2 Vintage. MM2 Albert Hassay. My grandpa was still in and deployed when my dad was born 1948. No internet then to connect with your young son. My dad told me how he would be at the train waiting for his dad to return, but to young to understand his dad was at sea. Then 1966 rolled around and my dad was 18 enter Army.

The things my dad was piecing together when he finally got to the VA in 2005 are things I still try to understand. I mean that is nearly 40 years where you don't connect your reality to that of what your military history experience was, until the VA tells you that it is all connected.

GOD is part and in control and I feel blessed as in that this has all taken years when I was literally cutting myself, and in hospitals, not knowing any of these things, just a few years, after my discharge in 2002.

None of these things are a military story normally boasted about. It is hard to really get a positive story when 3 successive generations of military males, are not able to connect and support each other, due things out of their control.

I took a picture and added it just a minute ago. My dads VA card. My VA card. My grandpas WW2 Cruise Book, and my mom I referenced with me 1976.
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SPC Margaret Higgins
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Edited 2 mo ago
Dear Aaron, I'll protect you. PO3 Aaron Hassay
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PO3 Aaron Hassay
PO3 Aaron Hassay
1 mo
Margaret!! Your the best!!

Last night was sort of rough i felt alone confronting somethings !!

How are you??

I hope you are well

You have a really unique story and history I would like to know

Best
Aaron
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SPC Margaret Higgins
SPC Margaret Higgins
1 mo
PO3 Aaron Hassay - My Dearest Aaron, I am doing okay. Thanks for asking! I am so sorry; that you had a rough night. What were you confronting; Honey?
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PO3 Aaron Hassay
PO3 Aaron Hassay
1 mo
SPC Margaret Higgins Trying to just believe it is all going to be alright. There are some administrative things surrounding this Navy Army Transfer in 1998. I mean that is some time ago. I am still in recovery.
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