Sunday, 8 Jul 84

Dear Mom & Dad,

The most exciting thing that happened around here this past week is that I was promoted. We were thrilled! I didn't even know I was up for promotion. Actually, I thought it wouldn't be until I left here that I would be promoted.

It will be even better when I start getting more pay. This won't happen for many months, though.

In the Navy, you are "frocked" as soon as you learn of your promotion. That means you change insignia at a (barely) formal ceremony. Two others at the hospital were also promoted by the same selection board. (I didn't learn of this till Thursday.)

Friday at 1 o'clock, Jeannie & I went to the C.O.'s office for the "frocking" ceremony. Jeannie changed my lieutenant bars for the lieutenant commander gold oak leaf, while the C.O. read the enclosed letter. (She pricked her finger on the pin.) There were about 30 people there. We figured they must have come for the cake & coffee. The ceremony wasn't much.

I was glad I had gotten my hair cut the day before. I even shined my shoes for this.

On the 4th of July, I slept till 9:30. We had John & Faye & their boys over for lunch. We cooked hamburgers out. After they left, I read a good book. It was a nice relaxing day.

Thursday afternoon I got your big package. You and Becky went Care Bear crazy. The check for $31.40 is enclosed. Angelique will be very, very pleased. Thanks so much for your help.

Today we took Deanna to church with us, then to Bagnoli Joe's for lunch. She is real sweet. It was quickly apparent that she just needed someone to talk to. She's about 4 months pregnant. She is planning to get married when she gets back to the States. She is getting out of the Navy in August.

She realizes she will be going to the church of Christ the rest of her life and is very eager to learn about it. I suspect she will be converted before she leaves. She realizes that she "made a mistake" and got pregnant. She seems quite mature. She is only 19. She works at AFSOUTH.

The future mother-in-law (about to have her first grandchild) wanted to be sure Deanna was being taken care of. She especially wanted to be sure she wasn't going to have an abortion. She also wanted her to get involved with the church. What would you do if it were going to be your grandchild? (Answer: Thank goodness you weren't faced with that problem.)

I have had several patients who were in the military, pregnant, & not married. They are not discharged unless they want to be. (Even a married & pregnant girl can get out of the service if she wants.) I personally think they should kick the girls out that get pregnant and aren't married. They won't let single mothers get into the military, so why do they keep them in if the become single mothers?

Angelique helping clean up - 7 Jul 1984 I have been very busy this weekend. I built screens for the French doors in Angelique's room & the dining room. They turned out much better than we expected. Actually, they are better than most screen doors we have seen on Americans' houses around here. I spent about 12 hours on it yesterday and 5 hours today. I am sore & tired. After I finished that, I fixed Jeannie's corner cabinet that didn't have good legs or a back. I just used screen to make a back for it.

The screen door on the front was completely painted and most of the door in Angelique's room. I ran out of paint. I'm not too good at building doors, especially ones that the kids can't tear up. The 2 screen door latches that you sent were very helpful. I am tired of being a carpenter, particularly when I don't have anyone to ask how to do things.

But I had no other choice it seems. It is finally getting hot here, but still not hot enough to need the fans yet. The bugs (flies & mosquitoes) are starting to get bad. It wasn't real good to have screens on only most of the windows.

About a month ago one of my patients agreed to build the screen doors for me. However, right before we went to London, I found an abdominal tumor in his 3-month-old. So, their whole family has returned to the States. By the time I could find someone else to do it, the bugs would be carrying us off. We are glad it is done.

The letter you wrote Monday (2 Jul) got here on Friday! That was fast. Beats me how the mail can get here in 4 days sometimes, and 2 weeks other times.

Your letter was very informative.

I enjoyed the article on Richard Hunt.

We will see you next March. We are going to Holland next April or May.

If Daddy wants to drive the car a lot, he better go to the World's Fair. Are you going? Did Becky go?

Jeannie & I are glad that Becky's moving to Asheville. Andy might as well get in the military as much as they like moving around. Maybe next time they won't be in such a hurry to find a new, "higher paying" job.

The kids start swimming lessons tomorrow. They are very excited. Jeannie has a new bathing suit.

Of course the World's Fair is expensive. And New Orleans is hot & humid. It is an Exposition. It's not Disney World. I don't know what people expect at a World's Fair. I suspect people have always complained about them. Jeannie & I certainly enjoyed the one in Knoxville. If you don't go to this one, I doubt there will be another World's Fair so close to Arkansas the rest of your life.

Steven is already out of training pants. He wears regular underwear. They look just like mine, only smaller. He loves it. He doesn't even wear plastic pants to bed. One night last week he had diarrhea and was up several times during the night, but he kept his pants clean. We are really proud of him. He thinks he's grown up and can do anything Angelique can. He has changed a lot in the last several weeks. He is getting to be quite a chatterbox. The last book you sent ("Mr. Chatterbox") was cute. Steven will be going to Paddington on Tuesdays & Thursdays this fall.

Jeannie has started reading and doing needle-work again. The kids are finally big enough they don't need constant attention. We thought we would never live this long. She said she thought she was going to go crazy before the summer is over with both kids home all day, every day.

Jeannie's jeans were too tight. She says she will probably send them back. The "straight legs" won't do.

Angelique is crazy about the little Care Bear that we gave her at the airport before we tried to leave the first time on our trip to London. She slept with it in London. We cannot answer your questions about the tiny Care Bears. Only Angelique would know if she would like it.

Yes, didn't I tell you that they paved our street about 6 weeks ago? They used asphalt. It has been a lot less dusty in the house ever since.

Jeannie & I did not find anything that we could go into after we got inside the courtyard of Castel Nuovo. I certainly never heard of a museum there. There is a museum in the castle up on the hill in the middle of Naples.

Keep cool.

Love you lots,

Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, & Steven


02 July 1984

From: Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Hospital, Naples, Italy, Box 19, FPO New York 09521

To: Lieutenant Commander Michael S. Cole, MC, USNR

Subj: Authority to Assume the Title and Wear the Uniform of a Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy

Ref: (a) MILPERSMAN 2220130

1. In accordance with the authority vested in the Commanding Officer by reference (a), you are hereby authorized to assume the title and wear the uniform of a Lieutenant Commander, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy, effective immediately.

2. You will not be entitled to the pay or other allowances of a Lieutenant Commander, nor to increased disciplinary powers under Article 15, UCMJ, until actually promoted in accordance with reference (a).

P.D. Cooper

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