I do not know how many of the WWW readers out there have ever served in the US NAVY, but one of the words we used was "Shipmate". It has a special meaning you see, it means you are both on the same ship.
A ship, is your home away from the safety of the shore. You may not be best friends with everyone on board, but you should be good buddies. If something on the ship goes awry, it is you and your shipmates that have to spring into action. There is only so far you can run. If you jump, you can only tread water for so long.
When you are isolated from the everyone else in the world for an extended period of time, you learn to accept that it is you and your shipmates. They help you through the times you miss your family, we tended to entertain one another and give advice.
I am sure today's Navy is a little different. I think now there is email for the men and women that serve on ships today. (That is one difference, there where no women on combat ships until the last 6 months I was in the Navy) So they have instant contact with their family members back home.
Thank you all who are serving, and thank you to all who have served.