My wife and I spent a few hours of "off time" with the crew of USS BATAAN (LHD 5) this holiday weekend (Saturday evening).
Someone on the staff of the area Admiral thought it would be a good idea to have a reception aboard the ship for the Admiral to meet some of the local movers and shakers. To be clear: we weren't there as "movers" or "shakers." We was workin' ...
From all accounts received, the little soire went well. I wouldn't know, though. As usually happens, I stayed on the pier after all guests were aboard. But I actually prefer to hang out with the drivers, Security guys, cops, Carabinieri and other support peeps. It's become "Standard Operating Procedure." And I always enjoy meeting folks at the gate as they come in as well as all the folks who are assigned to various posts on the pier. My wife got to go aboard, though - her 1st time on a Navy ship - so that was kinda cool.
I'm not complaining, but I would have liked to go with my wife and get a picture of her in an Osprey or Hornet or something. She was well cared for, though, and properly escorted, so that was good. She was there volunteering as a translator (English-Italian and the other way around).
This time, like on other occasions after "working the gate" and all the guests have arrived for such events -- I was a sweaty mess after all was said and done. I really wasn't "presentable" nor in the mood to "be sociable."
And *this* time, I had also been sideswiped by a bus (my right side covered in bus-dirt from almost getting run over by a liberty bus) and the only returning Sailor who had too much to drink while on liberty returned to the pier and chose my car to hide behind while he ... well ... for lack of a better phrase: *puked his guts out.*
I found this out when I went to move my car later and splashed his gift on my shoes and pants cuffs ...
"When you're all sweaty and covered in bus dirt and Sailor puke, it's best not to hang around 'clean people.' Some of them don't like that."