Lady Liberty

Life isn’t always a competition, but this Tuesday took the gold medal by storm. 

My first-ever helicopter ride, AKA world-class tour of the greatest (or at least, brightest) city on Earth, was a professional courtesy extended by the “local” Police Department (40,000+ members takes the shine off the hometown feel). We climbed in the plush leather seats and buckled up, cringing as the pilots recounted the last group of shipmates to lose their lunches on an overflight. 

Ten minutes later, I was hovering eye-to-eye with the Statue of Liberty – enduring several moments of disbelief as the sight sank in. The hour-long flight was an incredible experience. Below are my snapshots. 

If Tuesday was gold, Friday was silver. 

I joined members from every branch as we crowded the small stage in Central Park, being taught how to clap and smile by television producers. 

Good Morning America welcomed Florida Georgia Line and Nelly to the stage, and the Navy contingent went crazy. (Bless their hearts.) Five songs in five hours – but by golly, even us country fans knew how to clap. 
I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of New Yorkers during Fleet Week. Somehow, they have managed to look past the drunken displays (only somewhat kidding) and appreciate the meaning of the event; the celebration of our country’s naval services. So many opportunities have been afforded to us cadets, from dinner at the fire houses on Staten Island (an amazing bunch of people) to a tour of the Cake Boss factory in Hoboken, New Jersey. The aftermath of that bakery counter motivated longer runs this weekend…. and all of next week. 

Only four days left in Phase One! 


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