They Sure Don’t Make ’Em Like They Used Toy have uttered them, usually in the frustrated throes of a real or perceived shortcoming of one of my “kids” (a.k.a. Sailors). You have heard “kids are just lazy these days,” or “This generation is weak. They’re a bunch of Nintendo babies,” or the ever popular, “Back in my day…[fill in the blank].” Some crusty and “wise” old chiefs are constantly bemoaning the fact that this newest generation is the worst of all time and will cause the downfall of Western civilization. There is truth in some of those sayings but also some significant fallacies.
I look around at these “weaklings” and “Nintendo babies” and see a different picture. I see a 23-year-old aircrewman on his first deployment flying multiple missions every day to help victims of super-typhoon Haiyan after it flattened the Philippine city of Tacloban. This young sailor and his crewmates moved more than 7,000 pounds of materiel each mission by hand! That is like moving a two-bedroom house in 20 minutes, day in, day out, for as long as it takes to save the lives of a far-away people he has never met before.