Boot camp for me started off as a reality check, my first experience at 19 years old, away from friends and family. I served in the Navy from June 2004 until October 2009, it was truly the most humbling and honorable thing I have accomplished, looking back. I served on board the USS John C Stennis CVN74 from 2004-2006 as an Airman working on shipboard maintenance. I also served on the USS Enterprise CVN65 from 2006-2008 as an Operations Specialist.
Once the news broke of the USS Fitzgerald broke, it hit me hard. I am a former squid, and I understood the demands and life the Navy requires; hell I spent a majority of my service out to sea! Once I started following all of the reports on the Fitz, I got extremely emotional as reports came in about the ship being hit at the waterline, and was flooding of berthing (Navy bedrooms) and engineering spaces. While on the Stennis for two years, I worked on all the water tight doors, gaskets and any hardware associated with those similar compartments. Long story short, I lived and breath all things Navy for my short tenure serving this great country.
From 2006-2008, I served on board the USS Enterprise an Aircraft Carrier based out of Norfolk, Virginia. My job title was Operations Specialist. I dealt with a multitude of different radar, navigation and communication equipment. From the pictures of Fitz, I instantly thought that it was the other ships’ fault, and I firmly stand by that claim today. Our Navy is trained very well, they are the BEST OF THE BEST. One thing that I will always do is stand behind our troops, No matter what.
Multiple reports have surfaced, that some despicable people have started a Gofundme or other crowdfunding sites while trying to capitalize off of this tragedy our brave sailors have endured.
Brave Sailors like Danny are going head first with any way they can to help his sailors. God Bless you, Danny! Please donate to the Red Cross, USO, and NMCRS. It has been confirmed that the sailors are receiving things through these organizations. Or mail to:
UNIT 100173 BOX 1
FPO, AP 96665-1280
Our latest update from Japan was June 19th, see below.
One thing I think we can learn from this is that the American people will and are #USSFITZGERALDSTRONG. One of my favorite posts came from someone who was forwarding from an unnamed Chief. It is the most warming and motivating piece I have read! God bless the men and women of the USS Fitzgerald.
“Reposted From A Chief:
People joke about emergency egress all the time... 'we will never need it'...
For my civilian family. You have all seen and heard about our Navy ship the USS FITZGERALD and it's horrific collision at sea. You have heard about the loss of seven Sailors. What you may not be able to understand is what happened in "real talk". At the request of some, I will make this more real for you.
I want you to pretend all of this. Laying in bed at 0230 in the morning. Peaceful, with the hum of the fan and the gentle sway of your bed (imagine you are in a hammock of sorts). Or, you are on a quiet night shift, and suddenly-the most terrible noise comes out of no where, it's the sound of metal on metal, the ear bleeding collision alarm sounds, your bed will tip over, or tv flies across your office, and within seconds, your bedroom or office starts to flood. What you need to understand is that you have seconds to escape. You will grab anyone that you can and you will go, faster than you have ever gone. You will go to your assigned location (imagine meeting outside on the lawn of your house). This isn't a drill, this is real, that water will fill that berthing in less than a minute...because what you don't know is that hole is massive. Your fight and flight instincts will kick in--because you have been trained for this very situation.
You will have to make sure that you get those doors closed because if you don't your entire house will flood, you will in essence sink. You have to get the doors closed....but once those doors shut because of flooding, they cannot be opened while at sea.
Ships sink because water gets in them. A choice was made-dog (the way doors close to be water tight) and weld the doors, or dog and chain the doors-sacrifice those in the berthing-for those fighting to save the ship.
The pain those Sailors are going through right now, the guilt that some may have because they couldn't save everyone, they had to close the doors, and keep them shut. The loss of their Shipmates, their friends, their possessions, their lives were changed in a matter of minutes. Their battle will forever be bittersweet, they saved that ship, they kept her from sinking...but they will have forever lost seven Sailors, brothers, sons, fathers, friends....amazing men that gave their life to our United States Navy.
The Forward Deployed Naval Force in Japan is doing everything that they can to support this fighting ship, I am asking you....from the bottom of my heart to do something too. Send them a card, send toiletries, send clothing, send whatever you would like and you if you cannot send anything--please send them your love, your prayers and thoughts of peace and strength. The information is below:”
UNIT 100173 BOX 1
FPO, AP 96665-1280
Broadcast Releasing 6 July 2017