Thanks for all the well wishes!
Quick update on where he's been. Due to OPSEC, he can only share past experience, not future plans. He reported to the USS ANZIO in early May and deployed shortly after that. Crossed the Atlantic and made a refueling stop in Augusta, Sicily, Italy. There was no liberty there. They then headed up to the Black Sea with stops (and liberty) in Varna, Bulgaria; Odessa, Ukraine and Batumi, Georgia. Batumi was his favorite so far. His ship also participated in a multi-national exercise called Sea Breeze 2011 held in the Black Sea. The last I heard, they went through the Suez Canal, not sure where they're headed next??
Talk about "Join the Navy, see the world!"
One thing that may surprise Navy vets is how good communication is nowadays. There are several computers and phones available at no charge on the ship. They have an unwritten rule of limiting your calls to 15 minutes if others are waiting. I usually hear from him a couple of times a week. He took his personal laptop ashore and a McDonald's in Odessa had free WiFi, I was able to see and chat with him on Skype.
He's had his moments of homesickness (and one battle with seasickness shortly after leaving Norfolk in 10 foot seas) BUT he's learning a lot, getting qualified on new equipment and procedures and becoming part of the team. Needless to say, I'm extremely proud of him!
1991 32' Winnebago Itasca
bought used in 2009 - our first