Sid's N T I N S Locker
Regretfully I must report that Dex died on 8 July 2014
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For Everything There Is A Season
by Dex Armstrong
Sid note:
The below is an update of this page that was originally created in September of 2013
and was updated in 2014.  Source: The "Dex file" from my hard drive

In 2013, while considering Dex's health problems at that time - and of course not knowing it would be Dex's last September  -  I rummaged through my hard drive and found my "Dex file".    Dug around until I found something that summed up Dex in his own words.   It was one of Dex's postings from sometime in the late '90s or early 2000s.

It was a response by Dex to some (now forgotten) commentary that my cousin Bob Harrison had posted  on 
Bob Harrison
1944 - Philippines
Martini's BBS.  Bob loved words. He loved all those from-the-heart stories and poems that were being posted in the "early" Submarine BBS days. He especially was a huge fan of Dex.

And that admiration ran both ways.  Anyway, Bob looked forward to every one of Dex's ramblings like a kid anticipating next Saturday's Tom Mix serial at the local Bijou theater.    That is until cut short by Bob's unexpected death on 4 July 2001.

But during those few short years association out here in cyberspace the two of them had this whole running mutual respect thing going on.  Dex even once mailed a box of tapes with music that Bob was fond of.

Neither Bob nor Dex were ever shy about speaking their minds. Whenever Bob observed someone going too far over the top he let them know his thoughts --- in a constructive way of course. 

Apparently he had posted a few of those "constructive" words to Dex and he got Dex's attention

Below is Dex's response.    Now that's the setup.  Read on

Sid Harrison

Bonus links: Dex via
Ray Stone's After Battery Rat
Cousin Bob Harrison More Dex and
More Cousin Bob
Dex Armstrong's posting from sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s.
For everything there is a season....

We had ours in the days of Camelot when smoke belching boats plowed the oceans of the world and the men who rode them owned the sea lanes. In the words of Tom Parks, "They were the shining times".

A time when a "well done", a smoke, a soft breast, and a cold beer was as good as any man had a right to expect. It was a time when beauty was measured in saltwater being sliced by bow buoyancy then rising up through limber holes and  sloshing aft and cascading over tank tops back to sea - foaming aft through Fairbanks smoke into a disappearing wake. At night it left twinkling phosphorescence; as overhead soared seabirds and above them clouds and stars; a time when a sunburn meant you weren't down breathing dead air and dirty laundry fumes. But most importantly there was ships' company: the finest men we were ever to know; though we had not wandered the road of life to that milepost where you look back and recognize that fact.

My friend Stukey and I dabbled in youthful indiscretion well beyond the limits allowed, but, we were good sailors. We did every lousy job ever invented by the subforce and tried to convince the crew that we considered crap details a skill and that we were the best at it. Making jokes made hard work easier, I loved the crazy bastard then - and I love him now.. and I got lovely Janie in the bargain.. he is my running mate.

Then the day came where the chief of the boat drew a line through your name on the "watch, quarters and station" bill and you cleaned out your side locker, pitched your gear in the lucky bag, shook hands and tossed down a beer at Bells. You patted Thelma gently on the fanny, said your "see you bastards someday" --- and you thought it was over.
Dex Armstrong
Early 1960s

A gentleman I have come to respect, and whose opinion I value, sent me a post recently and said he didn't realize I could be serious. That has been the chink in my armor that I have been hauling most of my life. I sat this past evening and thought about my stories when I was a kid. And I wanted to convey how much I loved it all: the crew, the wardroom, the old man and the squadron. Put simply - they all combined to be the best time in my near sixty years of wandering.

When I left the boat I asked the yeoman for a photo of the old man. I framed it and it sat on my desk through college. When I felt like goofing off all I had to do was look over at the old man and he had this look and I hit the books. He has always been my compass... my point of hero.

As I write this he sits on a shelf looking at me. He lived to see me make GS-15 in federal service and to meet and love my bride. He gave me faith in myself and took a personal interest in all his boys.

The stories are about the lad he saddle broke..and the guys who have lived in the after battery of my heart for 40 years. It's the only way I know to say thanks and to let them know...Dex never forgot.

Bob, continue to light me up when I need it. I am a creature of excess and I go overboard...and need to (be) hauled in from time to time.

(And a little more)  Recollections Of An After Battery Rat by Dex Armstrong

Dex - Baltimore MD --  USS TORSK work weekend -- early 2000s
via The website of Ray Stone TMC(SS)
Robert "Dex" Armstrong obituary as posted in Eternal Patrol section of
Qualified in submarines on the USS Requin (SS-481) in 1960 and was a TMSN(SS) when he left the Navy.
Dex cast off the lines of life at 6:20 AM EST July 8, 2014 and sailed off on his final patrol. 

A larger than life character with a remarkable talent for writing thoughts and actions that all diesel boat sailors could relate to and say with a smile, "That was me when I was just young squid too!"

Dex will join his beloved Solveig in a shared plot at Arlington National Cemetery at a time and date yet to be announced.

To all who sent cards to DEX, THANK YOU!  His Nurse said the stack is bigger than any she has ever seen come in on one day and she enjoyed reading them to Dex on what turned out to be his last night.

Dex, irreverent rascal that he was, would want us all to enjoy his submarine tales and a link to his AFTER BATTERY RAT tales is linked here

Rest your oar, shipmate!  We who remain will keep your memory alive, amd thanks for the precious memories!

Update:  Monday 22 Feb 2016

Today sn excellent commentary link of Dex's internment was posted by Curt Haggard on Don Gentry's submarine forum.

The interment ceremony at Arlington was done on 9 January 2015.  Click HERE for the commentary page.     (From the  blog of Teresa Arthur Photography, LLC. at )

Thanks Curt for the posting..

Sid post script:

Here is something I copied from a book review on AMAZON:

"Because something doesn't look like a Writing 101 class project doesn't mean it isn't great."
It is good to consider that while reading Dex's from-the-heart musings (as well as any other writings on the Submarine forums).                          From-the-heart always trumps.