Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2010 Fleet Week, New York City

Fleet Week is always a big deal in New York City. Unlike the days of WWII, New York City doesn't see the U.S. Armed Forces very often. Sure, they still have a recruiting office in Times Square and Ft. Hamilton is located under the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. But, many New Yorkers just don't cross paths with military personnel in uniform.

I'm sure Fleet Week, during wartime, is even more memorable for both the service members and the New Yorkers. It's hard to miss the throngs of sailors, in their whites, and ship tours are always appreciated by the tourist. A free piece of advice to the ladies, when you take a ship tour do not wear a dress (especially a short one) since you'll be climbing up and down some steep ladders.

In the 1980s and 1990s, I would wear my dress blues in New York when home on leave and it never failed that someone would ask me what branch of the service I was in.

One time, I was at the Milleridge Inn restaurant coat check in Jericho on Long Island (my father, who was in the Army, and I had a long standing bet, each December, on the Army/Navy Footbal Game that was payable by the loser at Milleridge Inn). While waiting on line, in my dress blues, to retrieve my mother's coat and my boat cloak, a man in front of me turned around and asked me what branch of service I was in. As I started to tell him, "the Marines", the man behind me rolled his eyes, sighed, and let out a mildly annoyed, "He's a Marine, can't you tell?!?".

You have to love New Yorkers - they never have a problem expressing themselves.

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