A couple of days ago I left home with Georgia on my mind and this morning I’m going to return to a place that really only exists in my heart. Last night I arrived after nearly an eleven-hundred mile journey to Albany, GA. Thirty-five years ago I arrived here in dress blues with my seabag and another hospital corpsman. We were fresh out of United States Navy Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, IL.
We were stationed at the Naval Air Station-Albany, GA. NAS Albany ceased to exist following the Vietnam War. It was a result of downsizing. But, a year or so ago when searching on Google and Wikipedia I rediscovered Albany. This morning I’m going to see if the Google Maps picture is indicative of reality. I’m going to drive down Schilling Drive and to the Flint River Golf Course. What is now the Flint River Golf course used to be the NAS Albany golf course and it was the green stretch between my barracks and the Naval Dispensary that I walked nearly everyday to work.
Albany has lots of memories for me. They were at flood tide as I arrived in town last night. I came in on Georgia 300 which is a lovely parkway from Cordele, GA and Interstate 75. I began to remember names I’d forgotten 35 years ago and as I ate dinner at the Western Sizzlin’ steakhouse I wondered if any of those people waiting on me had been born at the NAS Dispensary where I worked in labor, delivery and the new born nursery. Lots of memories will be with me today as I visit the old base or what’s left of it.
I don’t know what there is about all of this that is so terribly important to me, but I’m grateful that God has blessed this journey and my experiences.