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Because of a minor infraction, a shipmate of mine aboard the USS Reeves, bound for Japan, was busted one rank, fined and given extra duty for three weeks.

Looking forward to celebrating his 21st birthday on July 22, he consoled himself every night during his extra duty by reciting, "They can bust me, they can fine me -- but they can't take away my birthday."

As July 2 approached, his excitement increased.  When he went to bed on July 21, he happily repeated, "They can bust me, they can fine me -- but they can't take away my birthday."

The next morning, he found out that the ship had crossed the international date line -- and it was July 23.

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