Introducing Richard A. Kirsch, PH3, USNR
It isn't easy sometimes to reveal
one's self as they appear today, especially when you log on to the Cyber-Hannah, for it takes you back so comfortably,
that one is somehow captured for a brief period in their youth, once more (some of us are a bit uncomfortable looking
at ourselves in the mirror! ahem! )
Rich and I share this same feeling. I have seldom revealed
how I look today, after so many years have expired (38) since I was the young Squid here. I really do feel that
youth is a state of mind, not a state of time. No matter what time does to us, whether it removes your hair, like
it did with me - and cruelly, I might say, since a man is as vain about his hair as women are - perhaps even more
Or if time adds a few more, or lots of pounds to your once
thin frame. Here, I had weighed in at sick bay at 165 pounds, and had a 31" waist. Today, I am topping the
scales at 230 pounds and my waist has kept pace with the weight gain. You can better assess how skinny I was and
why I rarely took off my shirt: Go here.
One don't have to be that 'rotund' - if they aren't as sedentary
as I am... but regardless of our exterior, or what age does to us, inside we remain the youthful 18 year old. A
website such as this helps you enjoy the fantasy, if but for a few minutes.
Rich Kirsch had his own set of reservations whether he wanted
to reveal his present self to all of us or not, and I said, heck, go ahead... most women would agree that a man
does improve with age. Rich, I believe has kept pace with such notions. I really believe that God gives us the
Grace to accept the changes of life, if we just remember who we really are inside, and also, by keeping our mental
eye on the real person we will once more become, when "That which is Perfect is come... "But when that
which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." - 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, Verse
With being bolstered by the Hope of the Ages, we can then
look at our external selves better, and accept the changes that life presents to us. Here, Rich is today, and not
without his continued good nature and outlook...
If your lake is dry.... and you're down in the dumps...
With a little turn around, and you're on top of the World!!
I really think we all could take some of that advice, as none of us is without a few trips to the
dump, on occasion in our lives. Keeping a Positive mental outlook is necessary to get us through the rough times,
and out of the weeds.
I'd like to say thank you to Rich for providing such a wonderful
and informative Gallery of our Ship during the 'Middle Years' of her career. Both the later generation Hancock
Crew and the Earlier World War II Crew can easily relate to Rich's gallery, because his time was not far removed
from the Vietnam Era, nor was it far removed from WWII. Then, she still sported the open bow and double gun turrets,
as WWII shipmates relate to, yet she is beginning her modernization that will in time become the Vietnam Era Hannah.
A few short years after Rich left ship, she was back in the Yards for a Major refitting, and this time (1956) she
received her angle deck and closed Hurricane Bow.
So now you have a closer knowledge of who is behind this Gallery,
and it will help you to understand who played such a major role in the Construction of the USS Hancock CV/CVA-19
Memorial Middle Years Extended Gallery.