Men Down

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

We categorize life events, and experiences. Trying to organize them into tiny boxes that are busting at the seams. For me I just need bigger boxes.

Our Seagulls were Sailor’s
Dedicated to Doug and Sput Nill
Bad Company Seagull extended album – YouTube

Life and Death.

We know the only guarantees we have are that we will live and ultimately die.

We know sometimes good people leave way to soon.

Not so good people get free passes all the time.

That’s what it feels like anyhow.

When we lose a loved one, our heart’s want more. Why them? Why now? Often we know the answer. Our minds just have to go through the grieving process.

This writing piece is close to my heart and was prompted by yet again, a photo.

Douglas Lee Nill and Darwin Sputnik Nill
~Two of Life’s Sailors~

I titled this “Men Down” because they did serve our country. There are photos of them during their time serving. Proud and honorable.

I am writing this today in hopes someone will read it and relate. Feel it, and forgive. Hear it, and maybe heal. Maybe this is just for me? I don’t know. I feel them here as I write. They tell me to remember that no one is perfect, and that no one gets out of here alive. To live while I still can. To write what I know and feel in my soul.

The two men that I have pictured above were two of the good guys caught in a storm. My dad and my Uncle Sput. If they were still here I’m sure they could still recite the Navy’s Code of Conduct. Not to forget the 11 Sentries. ( See at the end )

These two sailors of the United States Navy stood in line with other new recruits to get that first military haircut, receive the inoculations, and stand for clothing check.

Douglas Lee Nill in line for his Military hair cut.
1972 Company 347 Recruit Training Command San Diego, Ca.

Sail away, sail away, sail away.

They trained for storms. They trained for rough waters. They knew at any moment thing’s may become unpredictable.

I can’t speak of the exact experiences they had while serving. All I know is the honor for any of us who love them to know they stood up and made a decision to enlist.

What happened out there? What seas did they sail? How crowded were the berthing quarters? How long will it be before they have mail call? Packages and letters from loved ones making the seas bearable.

These two served the minimum, with no desire to make a life out of the Navy. They went, they made it back home.

I have to wonder who they were before and who they became during that time. Who went out to sea and who returned?

Douglas Lee Nill
His photo is marked with an x.

I have read and watched movies. I have listened to my elders share stories of time served. I have heard many different experiences, from proud, to permanently scarred. Some new strengths as well as some brokenness. Many of tears have been shed as I feel everything so deeply.

I was never brave enough to stand and just let someone yell at me without breaking down into tears. The men and women of and in the military truly are the muscle, the back bone, the brave and the strength of America. Thank you all for your service.

I chose these two sailors as my main focus because they come from the same bones that built me and my siblings. They were two brave men. I remind myself that when I feel fragile or weak.

I think they got off of the ship with a different vision, and that all they could see was the bottom of the deep blue sea. Let’s face it. I’ve never had what it takes to endure that of what a sailor or soldier endures. Have you?

These guy’s made it home, had wives and made babies. The all American dream. Right?

Newspaper clipping
The announcement of my Mom and Dad’s wedding.

The storms they trained for at sea, unfortunately not preparing them for the storms they would face years later.

Divorce, death, drunk, and even fought with a war on Drugs.

No branch of the military prepared you for those storms you may face later. We have hopefully came a long way since then.

What I see now as I take a look back; Both of these men were someone’s son, brother, father, grandson, cousin and friend. They were heroes to those who loved them.

Delores Rilean Johnson Nill
They were her son’s.

I know these 4 sailors personally. No matter the roads they took that were all quite different, they were once braver than I’ve ever been.

Four Brothers
From left to right
Sput, Doug, Dwayne and Kevin Nill
All Served in The United States Navy
RIP Doug and Sput.

You never know the value of a moment until that moment is all you have.

For Douglas Lee Nill Written by Brother Dwayne Nill 12/28/88

You can take the Nill away from Spokane, but you can’t take Spokane away from the Nill.

Have a blessed weekend.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean


I’ve also attached this link to a short documentary. I was surprised how absolutely little I knew about the Navy.

Thank you to The Drive and Author Tyler Rogoway for the hard work you put into the above share.

~ 11 General Orders to Sentry


Orders to Sentry is the official title of a set of rules governing sentry duty in the United States Armed Forces.

1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own.

5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.

6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me all orders from the Commanding Officer, Command Duty Officer, Officer of the Deck, and Officers and Petty Officers of the Watch only.

7. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.

8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

9. To call the Officer of the Deck in any case not covered by instructions.

10. To salute all officers and colors and standards not cased.

11. To be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.

Thank you Jennie Nill Tate and Patty Nill. This entry would not have been possible without your help.

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