MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Not many people get the opportunity to see the faces of the war heroes and defenders of their country they regularly hear about in newspapers and broadcast videos. The military branches intrigue most individuals, but the individual-level functions of our military remains unseen and unknown to most of the public.
The people of San Diego will have the opportunity to see the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy service members during Fleet Week in downtown San Diego from Sept. 9-15.
The first fleet week event in San Diego kicked off in 1935 and became an official annual event in 1997, establishing San Diego as a pro-military city. Since then, the event has grown larger each year and become more interactive and educational for the people of San Diego.
“I think it’s important that Americans understand what it is the Marine Corps and Navy does as an expeditionary force in readiness,” said Lt. Col. Todd McCarthy, task force commander for Task Force San Diego. “A big part of that is enabling the people to talk to the Marines and learn from them what it is that they do and how they do it.”
During the week-long event, a display of Navy ships, various Marine Corps vehicles, aircrafts and weapon systems will allow people to get hands on interaction with equipment used by the service members each day.
“It’s good for the morale of the Marines, sailors and the public to just have fun with each other at the family-friendly events,” said 1st Lt. Maggie Mello, logistics officer for task force San Diego. “The general public can enjoy themselves and I know the Marines and Sailors are going to have a great time getting to explain what they do and show off some things that civilians don’t always get to see.”
The Marine Corps recognizes the importance of community. Fleet Week allows these service members the opportunity to thank the people of the San Diego community for their constant support and show them what they’re about.
“Even though we are an elite fighting force, we are people too,” said Lance Cpl. Emilio Martinez, a field artilleryman with 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment. “We’re there to answer any questions that the public may have and to show that we do care for the community. I also think it’s a great opportunity for them. It’s not every day that you get to go and see Marines in their habitat.”
The Marine Corps is delighted to be able to interact with as many people as possible to show them the pride they have in their Navy-Marine Corps team and what they do in defense of their country.
“Your Marine Corps and Navy team is alive, strong, capable, confident and ready to answer the nation’s call,” said McCarthy. “I invite you to come out and ask questions. Our Marines are anxious to talk to you and tell you what it is they do.”