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In Their Own Words - Cowboys and Cossacks

Harm    Mac    Bud

Lieutenant (j.g.) Bud Roberts 

By Sandra (korbella@yahoo.com)

I enjoy working with the Major and the Commander - honestly I do. But how do they get themselves into these positions all the time anyway????

We had just arrived on the USS Cayuga when Captain McNamara told me that Commander Rabb and myself would be exchange officers with the RNS Vasiliev. Great. 
Neither one of us speaks Russian. 

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UGHH!! My head is pounding like a bass drum and I think I might be sick again. Vodka and folk dancing late at night do not mix well for the next morning. That stuff was vile. I admire the Commander for being able to drink it without choking and coughing like I did.

This exchange thing is going straight downhill. It started off well - Commander Rabb recognized the officer who met us (I think I need to start watching more hockey - didn't know the Commander liked to watch it though!). Then on the way to the bridge, a mishap occurred in the missile room and I had to leave because there were not enough working oxygen masks and the Commander stayed behind to help Commander Petavich with the injured crewmen. 

Then at our official reception, Captain Grinkhov started in about how one of the planes that Harm shot down was the son of one of his close friends and I thought we were both going to be killed or thrown into the brig. Then he said it was all a joke. What kind of weird sense of humor was that anyway??? I admire the Commander for keeping his cool. He must have ice water in his veins - probably part of what made him such a good fighter pilot, I guess. All I know is that when they gave us the vodka, I needed a stiff drink. Until I tasted it!! That stuff was vile. How can they drink that all the time? I sucked it up and drank when the Commander drank though, and that brings me to this morning. Ooohh, I think my head is going to explode. Where are my aspirin?

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Well, my predictions did all come true, sort of. I did get to see the inside of the Russian brig. It was *so* reassuring when Harm told me, after waking me in the middle of the night from the best dream (about Harriet again - I need to call her - it's been a long time since we talked), that we were not committing mutiny but rather treason! Then when Commander Petavich turned on us and we ended up in the brig, I knew our careers, and possibly our lives, were over. The Commander just kept his cool. I was so frightened when we heard the missiles launch. What was the Captain thinking?? Then when we got hit with the harpoon and the brig started filling with water - are all of my missions with the Commander going to be this dangerous? I sure hope not. 

When we finally did get out of the brig and back on the bridge, we established contact with Major MacKenzie and things started to turn around. Until the Captain went totally rogue. Commander Rabb told me to stay on the bridge and in contact with Mac while they searched the ship for the Captain. Those were a few tense minutes let me tell you. We finally got picked up by the USS Cayuga.

It was kind of sad to see the RSN Vasiliev explode and go down. Later, Commander Rabb told the Major and I that Captain Grinkhov was being forced to retire and they were going to scrap his ship. He did not want that to happen so he decided to give his ship, and him I suppose, an honorable death at sea. He was a difficult man to understand but obviously one who garnered great respect if the salute as she sank was any indication. Such a sad waste of both a good man and a good ship. I am so thankful that I live and work for the US of A. May our situation never become that desperate.

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Thanks to Susan for the beta

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Disclaimer: While based on the JAG episode, this is for entertainment purposes only and no profit is being made.