MILWAUKEE – A group of six Sailors assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Milwaukee (LCS 5) traveled to Milwaukee to visit their ship's namesake city as part of Milwaukee’s Armed Forces Week Celebration, May 11-16.
Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, PCU Milwaukee’s commanding officer, along with Lt. j.g. Sara Artime, Master Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Greg Garcia, Operations Specialist 1st Class Anthony Escobedo, Engineman 1st Class Roland Buie, and Information Systems Technician 1st Class Tony Vue spent the week participating in Armed Forces Week events, meeting local officials and visiting local students participating in a wide range of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.
"What an amazing opportunity to connect in a real and meaningful way with our namesake city,” said Brasseur. “It was truly an honor to participate in the Armed Forces Week celebration as well get out into the local schools and show the students that we are not only interested in their work in STEM programs, but that LCS is a real life application of the same sorts of processes they are working on.”
During the trip, Milwaukee Sailors visited 14 schools reaching more than 2,000 students engaged in STEM programs. The crew engaged in lively discussions regarding the real world applications of the technology the students were working on. In addition, the Sailors answered a wide range of questions from life on a ship, to personal life decisions.
Vue shared his personal story about how a program similar to STEM at his high school was able to keep him out of trouble, but more importantly engaged in learning and ultimately leading to a successful career in the Navy.
“This was a very special opportunity to share my story with these students,” said Vue. “Perhaps they will be inspired as I was at their age.”
The group attended the Milwaukee Armed Forces Week Banquet May 12, where they met Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and NASA Astronaut Jim Lovell. At Milwaukee City Hall, they were also able to meet with Mayor Tom Barrett.
On May 14, the crew took in a Milwaukee Brewers Game, where Brasseur threw out the first pitch.
“Wow! What an opportunity of a lifetime to throw out the first pitch,” said Brasseur. “And even more special, to have my crew out on the mound with me.”
PCU Milwaukee Sailors also attended Armed Forces Week luncheons hosted by the city’s Rotary, Kiwanis, and Gyro Clubs.
"Milwaukee has welcomed us with open arms and we truly love the city,” said Artime, who serves as the command’s electronic materials officer. “Meeting the students was my favorite part of this trip and I can’t wait to come back again."
Other Sailors said they had similar feelings on the visit to their namesake city.
"I love that our namesake has such a strong nautical history," said Garcia, who serves as the command master chief. "Our namesake city has been very supportive and we are grateful to the city, the commissioning committee, and the Navy League of Milwaukee for their hospitality."
The future USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) is being built at the Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin and is scheduled to be commission in the summer of 2015.