|A Navy Wife Remembers
By Bobbie Burke, 1935 Wife of Admiral Arleigh Burke
**taken from the www.navy.mil site**
"The Navy must always come first,"
said Midshipman Burke
as he looked ahead to his wedding day on the seventh of June,
and happily thought, it can't come too soon.
"God must come first," she silently said,
said Bobbie herself, as she looked ahead.
"Then Navy for sure, and Arleigh comes next,
"the last shall be first," according to text.
Never alone, of this to make sure -
things in right order help love to endure.
The train trip was great to Bremerton Yard,
a summer ship's overhaul didn't come hard.
The great new adventure was never uncharted,
the trail was well marked by those just departed.
The old Boston cookbook, the very first gift,
philosophically taken avoided a rift.
The gravy was thin on a fresh Ensign's pay,
but "good things are free" as the song used to say.
And ideas flowed free with experienced wives,
from how to wash socks to the merits of chives.
But one summer lesson was never forgot
when packing-time comes a husband is not.
It is then that the "Navy comes first," as he said,
though he's apt to be last in the new home ahead.
"Travel light" is the dictum for years spent at sea,
a foot-locker household, and one trunk for me.
Imagine the impact, on orders ashore,
when thirteen big sea chests arrive at the door.
At last Ensign Arleigh came first, as I said.
Once more we joined forces for full speed ahead.
The lessons keep mounting, but mainly, let's say
"when crying seems likely, just laugh it away."
Sensibility, yes, but too sensitive, no.
Some days and sometimes when morale may be low
make sure you are friends, for the same golden rule
is the first and the last of that old Navy school.
72 YEARS AS A NAVY WIFE
| Roberta "Bobbie" Gorsuch married Arleigh Burke shortly after his graduation from the Naval Academy 72 years ago. She endured countless moves. She endured the rigors of World War II. She stood by her husband at every turn. Mrs. Burke is the epitome of a Navy spouse.
Often the life of a Navy spouse is overlooked, but it is a most difficult life. Mrs. Burke's poem details the hardships and sacrifices of the early years of their marriage. It is a poem that can be dedicated to every Navy spouse.
GOD BLESS YOU MRS. BURKE