Thursday, November 3, 2011

Proud To Be An American

We had the best time today. I'm proud to be an American for several reasons...but after visiting the USS Ponce today at Port Canaveral in FL, I am particularly proud of all of our young people who are presently serving. I've always been proud of our Veterans. My Dad was a Vet, and of course our Pop is a Vet too, but young people today get a bad rap too often.
The people that we met today were kind, curteous, and just plain wonderful to talk to and be with.
We had the opportunity to get on board the 563 foot USS Ponce today, it is only docked for 3 days and since we homeschool, it made it even better (no crowds). We didn't have to wait at all. (Extra special to be able to call my sweet friend Aleatha at the last minute and have her join us! - We homeschool real well together..she has two boys and knows what it is like to do life with boys,,its real comfortable to have someone in your life like that!)
USS PONCE is designated an LPD (Landing Platform Dock), Amphibious Transport Dock. It is the United States Navy’s custom for LPDs to be named after cities that take their names from explorers and developers of their countries. USS PONCE is the first United States Ship to be named after the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, which in turn is named in honor of the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon. Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the State of Florida and served as the first Governor of Puerto Rico. So you know we counted this trip as a history lesson!
Here are my boys with this ships mascot if you will or really it's the USS PONCE’s insignia, and it is comprised of four major elements: a rampant lion signifying the high spiritedness of the Navy-Marine Corps team that serves on her and is the coat of arms of Juan Ponce de Leon which is a continuing reminder of our bond with the people of the namesake city; a trident, emblematic of U.S. Naval power and supremacy; an anchor chain, linking the ship’s name and its designator symbols; and the “commission pennant”, which is distinctive of a ship in active service and serves as the commanding officer’s personal pennant – representative from the days of knighthood and chivalry. (We're studying that right now!)

There were guns....everywhere!

Check out that bullet that Shane is holding. That bullet from that gun can shoot a target 4.5 miles away. I'm thinking that could do some serious damage.

PONCE  by the way is pronounced “PON-SAY” and it is an Amphibious Transport Dock. USS PONCE (LPD 15) is assigned to Commander, AMPHIBIOUS GROUP TWO as a unit of the Naval Surface Forces, United States Atlantic Fleet and is the 12th and last vessel of the AUSTIN class. 

Her mission is to embark, transport, land and support United States Marine Corps and Navy elements by sea and air, and to conduct amphibious landings or raids to secure beach heads for further prosecution of operations ashore.  

 Brendan and Kyle headed for the bridge!
 More guns!

 Shane had particular interest in the guns...he and this soldier talked for awhile..I heard Shane say, he would like to join the Navy someday. After a day like would I!
 Did I mention how wonderful it is to homeschool with great friends. So thankful for my precious friend Aleatha! Great homeschool Mom...we think a lot alike.
 Here we are sending our best wishes and prayers to the men and women who serve on this ship. What a great way to end our tour...which by the way was FREE. So despite my fighting what is appearing to be the flu or a bad cold...we had an amazing day!
 I love this flag picture...see..makes me proud to be an American and proud of our service men and women. 
I borrowed these next two pictures from...

 Navy Site if you want to check it out. My little phone camera just couldn't fit the enormity of this boat or this experience!

Thank you to the crew of the USS Ponce..for your service and your hospitality!

1 comment:

Aleatha said...

As I look back over the years, some of my most cherished moments homeschooling tomorrows men, are with you. Thank you in abundance for asking us to join you today!