I just went and saw the USS JFK (Which is 1 of 2 current diesel aircraft carriers.
They were thinking of decommissioning(sp) it, and its docked in Boston.
I saw a snippet of it in the news and I saw a JSF (F-35) on the flight deck and I'm like "Yes. I have to go."
So I arrive at like 9:15. The line is about a mile and a half long, winding through the buildings of the naval reserve channel. Crazy.
We got to the security checkpoint, and the Marines were giving out posters, and you could do pullups for prizes (but you hd to be 17... Otherwise I would've gotten a t-shirt). One guy even gave me TWO stickers. W00t. They had the USMC Hummer there (Friggin 40" plasma in the back with a PS2), and some other cool stuff.
We got inside the hangar adn they had an F18 and another CArrier based aircraft I can't seem to remember.
My family was all itching to go ride the plane elevator to the flight deck and walk around. But I wanted to check out what was on the other side of the huge bulkhead.
I step through the big emergency doors.. And what do I see?
Hummers, deuce and a half, AAV, FOX, 155mm howitzers, 60 and 81mm mortars, M16A4's, with 203's, M240's, SAWS... It was diesel.
I walked over to the dude with the 16, and all the little kids were holding it... So when it was my turn, I check the mag, charged it, and take aim across the room. My mom was like wtf since when do you know how to work one of those?
One of the snipers in the 24thMEU showed me a little bit on how to adjust the sights on his M40, and I also got to play with an M82.
The Mk19 was pretty fun too. Its a ***** to charge though. At first I just tried to pull it back, but you really gotta throw your body into it. I didnt want to break it...
I had some good conversations with a few active duty marines about joining the military...Good ****, great guys.
Went up onto the flight deck and met a couple marines who were stationed a few miles from fallujah. I made a point to say I know a lot of people around here are crazy liberals and think the military and the iraqi wr is all bs, but I just want to say I appreciate you going and fighting for our country, even when theres a divided nation back home *****ign and complaining while you're over there. I think I made his day.
Played around with the .50 on the Chinook, then sat in the cockpit and played with all the buttons (I could NOT be a pilot. Way too many tempting buttons to push).
I finally get over to the JSF I've been wanting to see... And its a damn mockup. IT sjust made of fiberglass and wood. Had my damn hopes up. I knew there was somethign strange about having the bays open and a pait of aim120's hanging out.
Anyways I just needed to tell you guys how much of a great day I had. Props for the navy too. The marines couldn't do their jobs without them!
TL;DR: Get out of my thread or read it.