SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Large crowds and music welcomed the guided missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) to San Pedro, Calif., July 3 for Los Angeles Navy Days.
The five-day event marked the ninth year that Los Angeles hosted a celebration of the sea service, which included tours for more than 2,500 people aboard Gary, social events for Sailors throughout the city, and at sea embarkations for more than 100 guests on the first and last days of the event.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to learn about the Navy and for us to demonstrate the pride we have in our ship and our hard work,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Charles Seitz who demonstrated the shipboard firefighting equipment groups taking tours aboard.
Upon arrival in San Pedro, Cmdr. Joker L. Jenkins, Gary’s commanding officer, received plaques from the City of Redondo Beach, Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, and Janice Hahn, 15th District Councilwoman, to commemorate the ship’s arrival and participation.
During the visit, Gary Sailors had the unique opportunity to show the ship to several of the men and women who had a part in the ships construction 25 years prior at Todd Shipyards in San Pedro. They also got to interact with Sailors of the past who resided in the area during the July 7 guest cruise.
“On the transit back from San Pedro, we had one rider I met, a retired Chief Boatswains Mate from World War II, who made Chief at 20 years old. I was very impressed and really liked hearing his sea stories from when he was in the Navy,” said Boatswains Mate 3rd Class (SW) Chris Taylor.
Following the event, Gary crew members expressed their deep gratitude to the people of Los Angeles and neighboring communities for their hospitality and said they look forward to any future events that they may participate in within the Los Angeles area.