Sailor Asks Not What His Country Can Do For Him But What He Can Do Half-Assed For His Country

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Saying he's ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work — just as soon as he's done at medical — local Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Ruck tells Duffel Blog that he's proud to choose a life of service and sacrifice, asking every day not what his country can do for him but what he can do half-assed for his country.

"Truthfully, I don't even consider this work. It's a privilege to serve my Navy and this country," Ruck said, before adding: "By the way, think there’s any chance we’ll swing a half-day Friday?”

Ruck, 25, serves aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu as an Operations Specialist. A native of Hartford, Conn., the regular John Henry says growing up the son of an upper-middle class pharmaceuticals representative taught him the indelible value of a honest day's work. These hard-knock lessons have apparently paid off in spades aboard the Peleliu, where, by his own account, Ruck has earned a reputation as a driven, task-oriented professional.

"I owe my old man everything I've got," Ruck said, dutifully checking up on Facebook. "Especially the BMW, which, now that I mention it, I need to pick up from the shop this afternoon, so I'll probably need to leave a little early."

Though Ruck confesses he can be a bit a bit of a workaholic, he says it's crucial for bootstrapping sailors like himself to maintain a balance, saving room for small breaks when the job allows. Indeed, according to his shipmates, Ruck keeps the morale high with a veritable connoisseur's collection of puppy videos on YouTube and a good hour or two each day of bullshitting about sports, the weather, this chick he met last night that you wouldn't believe, or, in Ruck's own words, "whatever gets the chief off topic and off our backs for a blessed minute, am I right?"

It's all fun and games, Ruck says, as long as he and his compatriots remember that the mission comes first.

"Just not today, necessarily, because my knee's been acting up," he explained, making his way to the galley for a pre-lunch snack. "As a matter of fact, I saw the physical therapist last week, and she said I should really take it easy on my back for a little while, which is good, cause I honestly need to be studying for the advancement exam next month anyway."

At press time, Ruck had aced that exam and been promoted to your new division Leading Petty Officer. According to his first review of the shop, you've all got some real shaping up to do if you want to continue your careers in his Navy.