This title, Navy Grass, was taken from my own experience in boot camp while I, Bob Whited, was still a seaman recruit. I was leaving the Chow Hall to find my company and tried to take a shortcut through some gravel to get there faster. Instead, I was caught by the duty master-at-arms and was told that “the gravel that you walked on was Navy Grass.” He said that “in order to free you to return to your company, you should at least apologize to this Navy Grass.” He made me get down on my knees and apologize to Mr. grass, which I did. He kept saying, “Louder, I can't hear you.”
The louder I got, the more sailors gathered around me as I kept finally hollering, and he kept saying, ”No one can hear you.”
I kept yelling, ”I'm sorry, Mr. Grass.” By then, it attracted several hundred until he finally left me go to find my company. I never forgot to this day that ordeal. When I decided to write the title for this narrative and memoir, I could not resist the temptation to call this book Navy Grass. Most everyone will wonder why this title, and now they will know. It has been over fifty-five years, and I can still picture myself down on my knees in a plot of gravel apologizing to Mr. Navy Grass.