Big gray warships – the kind of ships that don’t have swimming pools and shuffleboard on them – are coming to town this week for the annual strutting of stuff known as Fleet Week.
It will be loud. Dogs don’t much care for Fleet Week, but most of dogs’ best friends do.
On Tuesday, the celebration kicked off with public tours of one of the great gray ships, the Essex, an 844-foot-long amphibious assault Navy vessel. Tours were free to taxpayers and their children.
After passing through metal detectors and being sniffed by guard dogs, visitors toured the vessel in small groups. Each and every person had a chance to hold a portable missile launcher, aim a howitzer, sight a machine gun and crank a mortar into firing position. The sailors and Marines said the ammunition – the stuff that goes into the weapons – was all locked up somewhere safe and far away.