Over the weekend, the aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan was docked in Santa Barbara. The HOTY & I had the great and amazing good fortune to tour it. Uh huh. I am still pinching myself. I have to tell you that it was one of the coolest most amazing and jaw dropping experiences of my life. Talk about a major Silver Lining, one that I will always remember!
Now we were not the only ones on the ship. We were invited to be a part of a reception on board. When the HOTY wandered about (which he is apt to do), he met an officer and asked him, “Is there anything that we need to see?” Well, the officer turned out to be the MOST amazing Silver Lining when he said, “Come with me.” He proceeded to take us to places that many if not most civilians do not get to see. He could not have been more charming or generous with his time, information, and enthusiasm!
We learned a TON on this particular afternoon. Did you know that the USS Ronald Reagon is the most effective and versatile fighting vessel in the world? Or that it was the first nuclear-powered warship of any kind to be named after a former president who was still living at the time? Or that it required over $4.5 billion to make (Uh-Huh!)? This warship has been apart of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, has served in the Persian Gulf and the Philippines. Yeah… this warship is kind of a big deal!
The ship holds 5,500 sailors (75% men & 25% women), most of whom were able to break away from their normal schedule at sea and come ashore to experience Santa Barbara for a few days. It was wonderful to see all of the uniforms in and about town. I never tire of saying “THANK YOU” to those in uniform.
Here are some more photos from the day:
THIS is where OFFICERS sleep! Teeny, tiny bunks, 3 to a room. And the sink? Also for THREE officers. Can you imagine how small the quarters are for the enlisted folks? Wowsy. This gives me a whole new appreciation for space!
This sign kinda scared me. Actually, it kinda scared the officer who was touring us. You see, these are the people who, when there is a fire or biological incident literally run toward and often into the middle of it. These folks are “nuts” as was described to us, but also admired and appreciated more than any other people on the ship.
Patriotism everywhere we looked!
Touring this massive warship reminded me of the utmost gratitude & appreciation that I have for the US Navy and all of the men and women in the armed services who serve our country each and every day. By the way, the officer who toured us works 16 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week. Yes, it is that intense.