Posted: 5/24/2010 5:04:02 PM
By Dick Mills
Intrepid Former Crew Members Association
Fleet Week is one of the most unique times of the year here in New York City. The sailors from all the amazing visiting ships are in town and everyone is buzzing with all the activity going on at the Intrepid, Pier 88 and Staten Island.
Through the years I’ve really enjoy meeting some of the young men and women that have visited New York City during Fleet Week. I look forward to getting to know some more of them this year.
Fleet Week is the perfect opportunity to thank these brave men and women for defending our freedoms around the world. I know I always say thank you to the sailors and soldiers that I meet. It’s important to understand their dedication and their loyalty and what they do for our country each and every day.
The Intrepid is always packed during Fleet Week and that makes us Former Crew Members feel great. When I walked off the Intrepid on May 12, 1962, I thought that would be the last time I would ever see her. But here it is 2010 and I think I spend almost as much time there now as I did when I was serving! It’s always so wonderful to see the ship filled with kids and visitors, all learning about the important missions of the Intrepid and her crew.
Another very unique thing about Fleet Week is getting to go aboard those visiting ships. The Intrepid is amazing but it’s a Museum now. It’s not set up the way the visiting ships are. When you tour the visiting ships, you can see the heavy duty equipment and aircraft that they carry. Last year I went aboard the Iwo Jima and was very impressed. It certainly gave me some flashbacks when I heard those mess calls and the other announcements. But the ships these days have some things we would have enjoyed back when the Intrepid was in service. Flat screen tv’s and latte machines and things like that weren’t around when we were serving!
I hope everyone has chance to meet some of the sailors and soldiers that are in town. If you do, please take a moment and thank them for their service.
Hope to see you at Intrepid this week!