Posted by Ed Hamilton on Nov 18, 2019
Did you know our Rotary Club receives dozens of emails through our website every year?  As the "gate-keeper" of incoming emails, I received one that asked "Can I borrow one of your inflatable ducks?" So, I asked "Why?"  Here’s the back story:
 
The email was from Jessica Martin, the wife of Master Chief Petty Officer Rex Martin  on the Gold Crew of the USS Nebraska (a Trident missile nuclear submarine).  She inquired if we would be willing to let her use an inflatable duck to celebrate her husband’s homecoming from his last submarine deployment in the Navy.  Our answer was a resounding “yes!”
 
Master Chief Rex Martin has 18 year’s service in the Navy. He was just relieved as Strategic Weapons Systems Master Chief. Of his 18 years of service, he served over 5 years underwater on submarine deployments. This last deployment is his last for his career, and he will be retiring after his shore duty.
 
So, why a Duck?  Jessica explained: “A sailor made fun of Rex on the boat on field day. Rex was walking through the boat telling everyone, “wrap it up, wrap it up.” The sailor went a little later after him saying, "rubber duck, rubber duck," thinking Rex didn't hear. The next field day Rex called on everyone to complete their work by saying, "rubber duck, rubber duck," shocking the guys with his eagle ears.
 
So on the Nebraska, the term "rubber ducking" came to mean: finishing up something.  For his last deployment I sent all his chiefs, and stuffed in 29 single sailor boxes, about 50 rubber ducks. They made them appear for Rex throughout the deployment. Once even on his chest while he was sleeping! Haha! Just to remind him that this was his last deployment and he needed to “rubber duck it” and come home for the final time." 
 
Master Chief Rex Martin and Jessica are pictured to the left of Waddles and Lucky
 
So on Thursday, November 7th, four Rotarians (Matej Kunak disguised as Lucky Duck, President Christie Scheffer, Steven Boe as media, and I) inflated Waddles outside Buffalo Wild Wings in Kitsap Mall for a short, but fun, recognition of Rex’s service to our Country.  Our small group was met by about 40 sailors from the USS Nebraska Gold along with their families to recognize the service of Master Chief Petty Officer Rex Martin.  Congratulations to Rex from the Silverdale Rotary Club, and thank you  for your dedicated service!