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Meet Cliff Elliot
Navy Sailor during Vietnam

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Neighbors are a gift and we were given a wonderful gift when we moved next to Cliff and Pat Elliott. Let me share with you about this wonderful couple.

Cliff is soft spoken, but don’t let that deceive you. Cliff is actually a hero in my eyes. As soon as he graduated from high school in 1963, he enlisted in the Navy . Right away, the Navy sent him to Vietnam on the USS Essex, an aircraft attack carrier/destroyer ship. The enemies could easily see his ship. They were like ‘sitting ducks’ in the Vietnam waters. Cliff also had to fight on land. It was a time of such horror that a few men even went ‘awal’. Cliff recalls one sailor who went ‘awal’. The sailor ran and hid in the sewers there in Vietnam. Cliff had to go into the sewers, with all the sewer rats, and pull the sailor out and bring him back to the ship. He had to do this three times.

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Cliff also recalled one time when a Navy plane could not brake enough to stop at the end of the carrier. The plane literally went right off the end of the carrier into the water. It was sinking fast. They were successfully able to retrieve the sinking plane out of the water with helicopters.

Cliff saw and endured things that he says he cannot disclose.  He did say that he was shot at a few times, but Cliff prefers to focus on the good.  Cliff stated that he never got sick on the ship, but many other sailors did.  Cliff chuckles as he recalls how he would purposely offer food and eat in front of the sick sailors.  "That made them feel even sicker”, he laughs. 

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Being on the U.S.S. Essex CV-9 was fascinating for Cliff. Their ship traveled to places like Germany, France and Denmark. These places have created beautiful memories for Cliff.  He says Germany is very pretty, and Denmark has the most breath-taking flowers outlining a beautiful pond.  However, England held something extra exciting. 

Cliff and all the sailors of the U.S.S. Essex had the honor of meeting and performing their Naval exercises in their best uniforms for the king and queen of England.   Queen Elizabeth II and King Philip were very touched by their performance.  King Philip himself had been a lieutenant in the Royal Navy!


Cliff also witnessed the Changing of the Guards. The Changing of the Guards is a formal ceremony in which the group of elite British soldiers, currently protecting the palace, are replaced by a new group of elite soldiers.  Soldiers have guarded the palace since the reign of Henry VII, over 520 years.  This ceremony of the Changing of Guards still takes place today.  With the roll of drums, the beautiful uniforms, and precise synchronization of the guards, it is an amazing event to behold. 

Coming back to the states, Cliff was then stationed in Rhode Island.  His parents, however, lived in Ohio.  So on leave, he went to visit his parents.  He strolled into Jack’s Golden Dawn one day, and to his delight, he saw a most beautiful woman.  She had caught his attention so much that Cliff would find more reasons to come to this store to see her.  And of course, she thought Cliff looked very handsome, especially in his uniform.  They were married in 1966.

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Pat is busy as ever.  She works for the car races on the weekends and has a house cleaning client.  She was a bank teller for many years.  They recently got a ‘lovable’ little kitty that loves to play and attack anyone.


Even though they are in their 70’s, they are the best neighbors ever.  We are very grateful and blessed to have such wonderful neighbors.

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