PEARL HARBOR - The crew of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57) invited their families aboard for a two-day long underway experience from Nov. 18-19.
Sailors aboard Reuben James played hosts to 32 friends and loved ones as the ship transited from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to the island of Maui and back.
During their time at sea, the guests of the crew received tours of the ship and participated in a "Steel Beach" picnic held on the flight deck of the ship.
"The crew has been doing an excellent job, and I thought that this would be a good reward for them," said Cmdr. David Miller, Reuben James' commanding officer. "They get to bring their families on board and show them what they do. I know that some of the Sailors brought their kids on board and are really excited to show them what daddy does out at sea."
During the picnic the crew of Reuben James treated their guests to burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, soft drinks and more.
Don Bentley, a father of Reuben James Sailor, talked about his experience underway.
"I love this. This is what it's really about, being out here and being able to see my son Tony and what he and the Navy do out at sea is very enjoyable," said Bentley.
Bentley, who is also a former gas turbine system technician, talked about the difference between his time in the Navy and what he observed aboard Reuben James.
"I am surprised to see that the Navy is a lot of young kids. When I was in, I thought that the Navy was a bunch of old guys. The chow has definitely gotten a lot better too," said Bentley.
Other Sailors, such as Gas Turbine System Technician Mechanical (SW) 1st Class Glenn Mapalad, took the opportunity to bring their children underway with them.
"I know that my son Glyder told me that this has been more 'funner' than Chuck E. Cheese's," said Mapalad, of his 7-year-old son.
The picnic was wrapped up after Reuben James made the short transit to Lahaina Harbor and anchored off of the coast of Maui.
"I hope that they really have a fun time out here with their family and friends. I know that a lot of the Sailors haven't had the opportunity to visit, and I hope they have a really good time," said Miller.