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Navy Days 2012 in San Pedro offers chance to see destroyer

August 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The USS Wayne E. Meyer has docked right next to the USS Iowa in San Pedro, offering a rare chance to step on-board a Navy destroyer. But unlike the USS Iowa, the ship will only be there this weekend for an event called Navy Days.

"It's named for Adm. Wayne E. Meyer, who was the father of the integrated combat weapons system that all modern cruisers and destroyers are known for. That's what gives us an edge," said Lt. J.G. Brendan Dziama.

The ship opens up to the public this weekend. But on Wednesday, it was a classroom for kids, with a focus on math and science.

"The whole boat in all is really cool, there's not like one favorite part about it," said young visitor Michael Blanco.

It's a chance for sailors to interact with the community, and for the community to see the sailors' points of view, from where they eat and sleep, to the operations of the ship.

"It is the taxpayers' dollars, and they put a lot of trust in the military, so it's really important that they get the opportunity to see what we're doing," said sailor Cassandra Bourquin.

Last year, Navy Days was not without controversy after sailors received a map highlighting downtown San Pedro as a "high drug area." A spokesman then said they were just trying to keep sailors safe using the information they were given. But a Navy spokesman says the sailors are in San Pedro to enjoy the city and surrounding areas.

"We are very happy to be here," said Dziama. "We get to work a little bit during the day, and get some relaxation and fun at night."

It's free to see the ship this weekend, but you do need to make reservations online.


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