TAMPA, Fla. — This week more than 70 men and women from the United States Navy decided to dive into Tampa Bay culture for a little something they like to call Navy Week.
Families received a special treat at the Florida Aquarium, as sailors swam up to say, ‘hi’ during a series of demonstrations.
“Navy week is a great opportunity for sailors and the Navy to talk to people who live here in Tampa, tell them about what they do, why it matters to national security, who these people are, what their stories are,” said sailor Ian McConnaughey.
The Navy will visit cities across America, trying to pick places that don’t already have a large Navy presence.
For Tampa native John Chambers, it wasn’t that long ago that he was a child sitting in the audience asking questions, and now here he is answering them.
“It’s really nice kind of seeing how it can eventually go full circle, I remember being in here, as much as I love the ocean, and thinking, ‘I can’t wait to be in the Navy when I get older,’” said Chambers.
“To be able to bring the Navy in, to have them have access to our visitors and our guests here, and have that impact, is really important to us as a community partner,” said Dale Wolbrink with the Florida Aquarium.
This visit was very hands-on, from equipment chomped on by sharks to state-of-the-art robots to what to wear where when you’re going on a mission.
“Seeing these little three, four, five-year-olds ask these really sweet questions by far is the most important part of us coming to support Navy Week Tampa, getting to show what we can do and getting to see these really adorable little children,” said sailor Nicole Stegall.