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Veterans Day Salute 2013

2013-11-11

Yes, Veterans Day here in the US is here! In this post, I want to take a few moments to thank all of those who are currently serving in our nation’s military, as well as those who have served in the past! I personally know many people, friends and family, who have served at one point or another. In my posting last year, I primarily had focused on the US Navy, specifically mentioning about the USS Lassen and the USS Ramage, two of the Navy’s awesome guided missile destroyers. Both ships were deployed to the waters of the Pacific and Mediterranean respectively during the summer months of 2013. The Lassen was originally homeported in San Diego, CA, but has been assigned to Yokosuka, Japan since 2005. The ship recently sailed to Australia, where I would love to visit someday, for several military exercises and port visits. I was able to witness the commissioning of the Lassen here in Tampa back on April 21, 2001. The Ramage is homeported in Norfolk, VA and is currently on deployment until the spring of 2014. I personally know one of the officers who is currently on board the Ramage.

This year, I would like to be able to take a look at the other branches of the US military, since I was not able to include them in my post from last year. With the growing popularity of social media and devices like tablets and smartphones, it’s been easier than ever to follow all the branches of our military! In fact, the US Navy recently unveiled its smartphone/tablet app, which makes it even easier for families of sailors to stay informed on the go! I also would like to point out that many efforts have been made, despite the dreaded sequestration cuts, to modernize our military. For example, many US Navy ships (including the Ramage) have recently undergone extensive mid-life refurbishments to update aging equipment and extend the life of the ship. These refurbishments have made it easier for the ship’s crew to communicate with the outside world via social media!

With all of this said, let’s go into some photos that I’ve been able to gather from the various branches. Within each caption, I have provided proper credit to the respective branch and photographer (if known).

US Air Force

A C-17 Globemaster plane prepares for an exercise with personnel from the US Army and the US Air Force. Photo Credit: US Air Force.
A C-17 Globemaster plane prepares for an exercise with personnel from the US Army and the US Air Force. Photo Credit: US Air Force.
Two US Air Force jets fly side-by-side over the desert. One is a T-38 A-model and the other a T-38 C-model. Not sure which one is which though. Photo Credit: US Air Force/Bobbi Zapka.
Two US Air Force jets fly side-by-side over the desert. One is a T-38 A-model and the other a T-38 C-model. Not sure which one is which though. Photo Credit: US Air Force.
A line of KC-135 Stratotankers conduct an exercise known as an "Elephant Walk", where a single line formation of planes "march" down the taxiway in a fashion similar to a herd of elephants. A fleet of KC-135s are stationed at Tampa's MacDill AFB. Photo Credit: US Air Force/Tech Sgt. Tanika Belfield.
A line of KC-135 Stratotankers conduct an exercise known as an “Elephant Walk”, where a single line formation of planes “march” down the taxiway in a fashion similar to a herd of elephants. A fleet of KC-135s are stationed at Tampa’s MacDill AFB. Photo Credit: US Air Force/Tech Sgt. Tanika Belfield.
An Airman works alongside Marines to assist with loading munitions. Photo Credit: US Air Force/Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales.
An Airman works alongside Marines to assist with loading munitions. Photo Credit: US Air Force/Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales.

US Army

Two soldiers participate in a casualty exercise. Photo Credit: US Army.
Two soldiers participate in a casualty exercise. Photo Credit: US Army.
Dogs often play a crucial role in assisting our servicemembers. Photo Credit: US Army.
Dogs often play a crucial role in assisting our servicemembers. Photo Credit: US Army.
Military members can always be seen at major sporting events, especially during the playing of our National Anthem. Photo Credit: US Army.
Military members can always be seen at major sporting events, especially during the playing of our National Anthem. Photo Credit: US Army.

US Marine Corps

Sunday, November 10 marks the 238th birthday of the US Marine Corps! What a better way to celebrate than with a cake cutting ceremony! :) Photo Credit: US Marines/Cpl. Lauren Whitney.
Sunday, November 10 marked the 238th birthday of the US Marine Corps! What a better way to celebrate than with a cake cutting ceremony! 🙂 Photo Credit: US Marines/Cpl. Lauren Whitney.
Two Marines (twin brothers) take a few moments to sharpen their music skills. Photo Credit: US Marines/Lance Cpl. Elizabeth A. Case.
Two Marines (twin brothers) take a few moments to sharpen their music skills. Photo Credit: US Marines/Lance Cpl. Elizabeth A. Case.
Run, run, run! :) Photo Credit: US Marines/Lance Cpl. Owen Kimbrel.
Run, run, run! 🙂 Photo Credit: US Marines/Lance Cpl. Owen Kimbrel.
Ready...Aim...FIRE! Photo Credit: US Marines/SSgt. Matt. Orr.
Ready…Aim…FIRE! Being a sniper is definitely no easy task. Photo Credit: US Marines/SSgt. Matt. Orr.

US Navy

Looking into the sunrise (or sunset, depending how you look at it) from the USS Ramage (DDG 61). The US Navy guided missile destroyer is on a Mediterranean deployment until the spring of 2014. This particular photo made the weekly cover photo rounds on the US Navy's official Facebook page during the week of November 4, 2013. Photo credit: US Navy.
Looking into the sunrise (or sunset, depending how you look at it) from the USS Ramage (DDG 61). The US Navy guided missile destroyer is on a Mediterranean deployment until the spring of 2014. This particular photo made the weekly cover photo rounds on the US Navy’s official Facebook page during the week of November 4, 2013. Photo credit: US Navy.
Speaking of destroyers, this is one of the US Navy's newest  Zumwalt-class destroyers. There will be three of these ships initially, but the US Navy hopes to have more in the fleet in the not-so-distant future. Photo credit: US Navy/General Dynamics.
Speaking of destroyers, this is one of the US Navy’s newest Zumwalt-class destroyers. There will be three of these ships initially, but the US Navy hopes to have more in the fleet in the distant future. Photo credit: US Navy/General Dynamics.
Preparing for a fire onboard a ship is a continuous process. Everyone must be prepared for the worst! Photo Credit: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Stephens.
Preparing for a fire onboard a ship is a continuous process. Everyone must be prepared for the worst! Photo Credit: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Stephens.
The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returning to San Diego, CA (April, 2013). Photo Credit: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dean M. Cates.
The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returning to San Diego, CA (April, 2013). Photo Credit: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dean M. Cates.

In Conclusion

Veterans Day is always a day where we can take a few moments to say “Thank You” to all those who have served our country. Our service members often take great risks to protect our country and its freedoms, and many have given their lives in order to keep all of us safe from harm. With that said, please be sure to thank all those who have served in our military; whether it be past or present. Our service members deserve a lot of appreciation for what they do each day!

Below, I’ve posted some links where you can learn more about our military and view photos and videos of our military in action.

GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY!

HARTride 2012

Veterans Day 2012 Salute

It is said that a photo is worth a thousand words. I truly believe this saying when it comes to many photos that we look at each day. With Veterans Day approaching, I wanted to take some time to first thank all those who are serving, or have served in the branches of the United States military. I also would like to take a moment to post a couple of photo finds that I’ve come across during the past few months.

I first wanted to start with the US Navy, by which I’ve been very fascinated with since I was a child. In 2001, I had a rare opportunity to witness the commissioning of the USS Lassen (DDG 82), which is one of many guided missile destroyers that the Navy has in its fleet. The Lassen is currently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, where it has been since 2005. Prior to 2005, the ship was stationed in San Diego, CA.

USS Lassen Commissioning in Tampa (2001)
The commissioning ceremony for the USS Lassen (DDG 82) in Tampa, FL (April 21, 2001). ~ Photo taken by HARTride 2012.

The above photo is of the commissioning ceremony that took place on April 21, 2001 in Tampa’s Channelside District. Back then, Channelside was just beginning its transformation from a largely industrial center into a livable urban complex. Although the cruise ship port was already in place during the 1990s (and the Florida Aquarium since its opening 1995), the residential boom in the district did not take full effect until around 2003.

Touring the USS Lassen definitely felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, especially now that security has become so tight since the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. So it may be a very long time before I have another chance to be able to step aboard another active US Navy ship. Nonetheless, I enjoyed every moment of the ceremony and tour, including being able to see Tampa’s downtown skyline from the ship’s bridge.

Yes, I will say this right now, the USS Lassen is one of my favorite US Navy ships! 😀

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