My husband remained in a part of the Military reserve unit called the Navy Sea Bees after his tour in Korea. He would spend one weekend a month on active duty and two weeks a year.
Once a month he would come home from his active duty weekends and talk to the kids about what he did and how he eat sea rations. Our children were so impressed with his stories and they thought that sea rations were from the ocean. They had no idea they were military boxed survival foods.
This one year he was sent toAlaskafor cold weather training. He went in the heart of winter toAlaskaand had to live out of tents and eat nothing but sea rations out of boxes and cans. There was no way to make fires and heat up this food. They had small sterna cans to use for their cooking.
On his arrival home he came in with an extra duffel bag that was so heavy he could hardly carry it. He promised the kids he would bring them home something fromAlaskaon his return.
Considering he was stuck in the middle of no where and could not keep his promise he decided to collect all the boxes of sea rations that nobody could stomach to eat any longer. He saved them all in a duffle bag for his return home.
Upon arrival at home the kids were so excited to see him. He was happy to be home and told them he had a big surprise for them. He said that they were going on a survival trip and learn to live out in the wild with only sea rations to eat. Three of them jumped for joy and were so excited when they heard this. I saw the look on my oldest sons and second daughters’ face and they were not happy at all.
Both of them quickly came running to me crying and saying they did not want to leave home and refused to be in the military. They did not want to go on a survival trip.
Living in a boot camp:
In our family room my husband set up a tent and sleeping bags for the kids to sleep in. He prepared the family room like a military camp for them. He explained to them that they were to live here and eat sea rations. I saw the joy on my two youngest sons face and my oldest daughter. They were so happy to be camping in our family room.
That evening when I cooked dinner my husband wanted a steak and potatoes. He said that not to worry for the kids he had them taken care of. Dinner was served and the kids came running to the table. They saw that they had nothing on their plates to eat.
Each one of them was in shock and could not understand what they were going to eat this night. My husband explained to them that they are on a survival mission and their food is in their tent in the family room. They jumped up from the table so excited and ran down the stairs to find their surprise in the tent my husband had prepared for them.
We are sitting there eating and all of a sudden my second daughter little Miss Prissy comes upstairs crying so hard she can hardly talk. She said to my husband Daddy what can I have to eat I am hungry. He said that your food is in the tent go back and eat with your brothers and sister.
She took one look at him and said Daddy it is cold. I can not eat my food cold. Plus it is in a can how can I eat this? She told him the cheese was hard and the crackers were stale and she wanted to eat with Mommy and not with us.
I almost died when I found out what he did. He decided to bring home a sack full of sea rations for our kids to eat. The other 4 children were down in the tent laughing and having such a good time. I went down to see what they were doing. They had all the boxes of sea rations torn apart and separated out.
My two youngest sons took all the beans and franks. My daughter started to tell me that she hates them and gave them to her brothers. She took all the spaghetti and meat balls and my oldest son took all the cracker, cheeses, and macaroni and cheese for him. I asked them what about your sister. They said she didn’t want any and so they took her share.
In the boxes was instant coffee, a can of food, cheese, crackers, a can of some sort of fruit, some chocolate, and I am not sure what else. The four of them were in their height of glory this night. They had all this food down in their tent and could eat what ever they wanted. I was not too happy about the chocolate and them eating all this. He said leave them once they taste this they won’t eat much of it.
The kids stayed down in the tent that night and two more nights eating sea rations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the 4th day my boot camp troop comes up in the house and starts complaining to me. We are tired of eating this cold food. Can we have some real food to eat now? Each one of them had such a pitiful look on their faces I felt so sorry for them. I cooked them a big batch of pancakes, eggs, and bacon for breakfast that day. I never saw the 4 of them eat so much before. I always had a hard time getting my oldest daughter to eat breakfast but not this morning.
The next year when my husband went away not one of the kids asked for a thing from him. They were so afraid they were going to get another sack of sea rations on his arrival home.