Thursday, April 21, 2016

Celebration On Board the USS Harry S. Truman Aircraft Carrier

The invitation first arrived by email and I was so excited. Hubby D and I were invited to the 240th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America on board the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman that is currently based here in Bahrain supporting the efforts in the Middle East.

A few days later, the printed invitation arrived and I was even more excited.

I know you are probably asking yourself, “Isn't the anniversary of our independence on the Fourth of July?” And, you are correct.  However since the Fourth of July falls during Ramadan, for the past couple of years the US Embassy in Bahrain has been celebrating the holiday earlier in the year.

As we were driving up to the carrier, Hubby D told me to pull out my camera and start shooting pictures but I was already getting it ready to go.  Neither one of us wanted to miss a single opportunity for a memory.

Red satin covered the ramp going into the ship. We felt pretty special.
It was a fantastic evening. The Navy band played and the carrier was all decked out in it's finest. The Embassy really did a bang up job this year.  It was a fabulous evening with plenty of "Proud to be an American" moments.

Harry's bust and memorabilia was on display.
A chocolate cake in the shape of the USS Harry S. Truman.
The US Anniversary cake was vanilla.  Yea!
Shrimp and ice eagle - impressive.
Truman's slogan - Give Em Hell.

These are videos of the Navy Band and of the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.  The singer is not the best but she is stationed on the USS Harry S. Truman and you can hear the emotion in her voice. The first song playing in the song video is the Bahrain National Anthem.

If you are reading this in an email, you will have to go to my blog page to watch the video.

We met several service men who lived and worked on the USS Truman. They were all so very nice and extremely interesting.

This young man offered to get me a glass of wine.  I later found out he was in charge of running the ship - sort of like a city manager, the food, the laundry, the maintenance -- for 5,000 people. He said he also managed most of the reception. I told him it was great - really a top gun production.

We had a chance encounter with an Arab gentleman. I had a little stars and stripes bow that I clipped to my watch before we came to the reception. It had fallen off and this nice man had picked it up and put it on his lapel. I saw it there and he offered to return it, but it was so nice that he wanted to show some USA colors, I told him I would be proud if he would keep it.  He was very happy to do this. I saw him several times during the evening and he was proudly displaying the stars and stripes.

The American Women's Association was well represented.
Several of my friends were in attendance and blue was the color of the night. JA and SH looked great. SH is off to for a new posting in Washington, DC soon. We were very excited to see her before she leaves Bahrain. One of my very first adventures was a rug flop with SH in Hamala.  JA and I hosted another rug flop later so this is a meaningful picture of "flopping friends." I LOVE IT!

JA, LB and I are just "Ambassador Want-To-Be" kind of gals.
Hubby D and I rode the deck elevator up to the main deck of the carrier where we could tour more of the aircraft. We talked with several of the pilots standing close to the aircraft that they flew.

This is a video of the elevator going down.  If you are reading this in an email, you will have to go to my blog page to watch the video.  It is worth watching, especially to hear the guests gasp as the elevator drops suddenly. It was better than a ride at Disney.

One young man on the upper deck was a pilot of a F18 fighter jet. Hubby D asked him how he came to be on the Truman and he was so very humble and low key. “Well, Sir, first I graduated from high school, then I went to the Naval Academy and after graduating with honors I was fortunate to secure a position in a training program . . .”

It was so sweet and if I knew his mom I would tell her she should be extremely proud.

Hubby D purchased a coin for the ship. It is really impressive as well.

Hubby D and I had a great time.  And, it really was an evening filled with patriotic moments.  You don't know how lucky you are to be an American until you live outside the United States. 

Thanks so much to the American Embassy and Ambassador Roebuck for such a great evening.  I did not get to see Ambassador Roebuck - he was swamped with people clamoring to shake his hand. Maybe I can see him later.

OH YES! Big news! I was invited to play in the American Chamber's annual golf tournament next weekend and guess where the dinner is being held afterwards?  The Ambassador's home.  WOW!  Party On In Bahrain!


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