Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! It's a great day to celebrate the birth of our great country!

Growing up, the 4th was always one of my favorite holidays. My dad was really big into fireworks, and like most teenage boys, I liked blowing stuff up. After I joined the Navy, I enjoyed the festivities the base would offer, and usually tried to pull duty on the holiday. In San Diego in the early '90s, B-List Hollywood celebrities would come down to the base, and we once had Khrystyne Haje eat dinner in our Wardroom on Topeka. As we moved towards the end of the decade, however, it seemed that, at least in Groton, the focus seemed to move from "honoring those who serve" to "an excuse to get civilians on base" -- the holiday became more about providing bodies for extra duty for traffic direction and trying to "sell" the military to a bunch of mullet-wearing civilians. This scaled back after 9/11, of course, but I'm worried it might degenerate into that again. For now, it looks like some bases aren't doing much at all.

What was your favorite way to celebrate the 4th on active duty? Did you like hanging out on base, or did you use the holiday as a chance to get away from the base?


Blogger Curt said...

Being a single Sailor, on USS TAUTOG, SSN 639, I watched the firewords from the Bridge, two years in a row (EDPO Tour).

7/04/2013 10:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As SDO on USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) sitting in our homeport of Guam in 2003, I sat on the fairwater planes with the EDPO, Duty Chief and their families to watch the base fireworks. Great show, great time.

7/04/2013 11:56 AM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

Shipyard EDO during NEWCON (before having the SDO watch stationed), sitting on the fairwater planes at Electric Boat, eating pizza (from Familglia's? - the good pizza with the crust on top and bottom) with the EDPO (ETC Guy) and some other nuke duty day guys, and trying to watch the fireworks - would have been 1993, just a couple of weeks prior to our "launching"

7/04/2013 12:50 PM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

The next year was while we were in Newport for commissioning - I was SDO, allowing the other senior LT's a chance to spend the holiday out in the town in Newport. I missed my chance to spend time with the Stanley Cup (which apparently was in town at a local bar, where most of my buddies spent the evening) but we had a very uneventful day preparing for Commissioning...

7/04/2013 12:52 PM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

I should note that I was a LTjg at the time of commissioning (and single) so if I had not volunteered for holiday duty, I probably would have been voluntold for it - I knew the rules and was ok with it...

7/04/2013 12:55 PM

Blogger fourfastboats said...

The most memorable of my Fourth of July's while on active duty were spent under way on nuclear power tending to our Nation's business. My boats were where we needed to be - doing what needed to be done. There were also some duty days, but those pale in comparison to what we were doing while underway.

7/04/2013 4:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite celebration during active duty was when I was at prototype in 1984 in Idaho Falls. The S5G Engineer had a graduation party at his house for the 8306 classes for all three plants. Two days later we all checked out.


7/04/2013 6:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were in port in Pearl during the 80's for the 4th, and the Missouri (I think it was Missouri) was in port across the harbor...they did a 21-gun salute with one of their 5-inchers to celebrate the day. I caught it from topside on my duty day, bang...bang...bang...and so forth. Less impressive than it sounds. Did it sound impressive?

Welcome to Earth! (Just saw that scene in "Independence Day" on A&E.

7/04/2013 7:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Canceled fireworks displays at U.S. military bases are being blamed on sequester-related budget cuts just days after President Barack Obama pledged $7 billion in taxpayer money to fund energy initiatives in Africa."

Just sayin'.

7/04/2013 7:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best fireworks shows I saw were in Groton in the 80s and timed to music. It was always on a barge out on the Thames. Great times had by all.


7/04/2013 10:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was nice... last night, stuck on duty in Pearl, getting to see.. wait, no nevermind. No more fireworks. They did hold a picnic on the Hickam side to take place of the fireworks. Doesn't help out the guys stuck on duty though. Awesome.

7/05/2013 11:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

$7.5 billion to Africa for energy.
$1.3 billion to Egypt for military funding.

$0 for fireworks to celebrate our independence.


7/05/2013 4:05 PM

Anonymous OLDCOB said...

Let's see. Was it watching the fireworks and celebrating the 4th in the Big Apple in "64" (12 days), or was it celebrating and fireworks over the 4th at the Montreal Expo in "65"(10 days). OMG What a time in both places. Will have to say that NY was the best. The fireworks were beyond discription.
I did not know that they celebrated July 4th in montreal, but they sure did when we were there. Presented the CO with the key to the city and treated the entire crew like we were royalty. AAHHA To be young, and full of piss and vinegar again. Those were the days !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7/05/2013 8:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They would have been celebrating "Canada Day" in Montreal, which falls on 7/1, but Canadians being party animals in general, tend to make it a four day occasion.

7/06/2013 10:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

2008 off the coast of XXXXX performing a targeted afterwatch clean up in shaft alley.can't wait to be diagnosed with XXXXXX cancer after soaking my hands in hydraulic oil. Team America!

7/06/2013 6:52 PM

Anonymous Grogman1 said...

Taking over for the USS Kidd due to gun mount issues, while stuck in main control as the EO. Will never forget the smell of Cordite(?) and fresh donuts. 198X off the coast of BL.

7/07/2013 12:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Wednesday, the X-47B Navy drone exercised the first unmanned carrier landing in history, landing aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) off the Virginia coast.

Response from the blogger community:

"So here I was flying the X-47B's first carrier landing. All of a sudden my Mom yanks out my controller cable and says to go finish cutting the grass. I was like 'Whoa' dude, that ain't cool. So I plug it back in and put the drone on autopilot and go outside. I heard later it landed perfectly. Got the Navy Cross in the mail last week."

7/10/2013 3:20 PM

Anonymous Sean Mokler said...

Maybe not my favorite, but definitely my most memorable: Sitting in maneuvering doing shipyard paperwork listening to the fireworks as EDO. I got topside in drydock to see the finale. Pretty sure I filled everything out OK.

7/12/2013 1:37 PM


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