If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you may remember that I spent a month and a half on active duty last year. I was aboard the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19) assigned to the staff of the Commander of Seventh Fleet during Operation Tomodachi, the joint US military relief effort in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and resultant tsunami.
When I was stationed aboard a ship homeported in Japan from 1999 to 2001, it was common to pull into Japanese ports and be met by protesters holding signs telling us to go home. They were usually fairly small groups and they were always very polite, but the sentiment was always there.
Well the other day USS BLUE RIDGE pulled into port in Tomakomai, Japan and they were met with this scene:
BLUE RIDGE was in Tomakomai for a goodwill port visit that coincided with the nearby Annual Sapporo Snow and Ice Festival. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mel Orr)
It's nice knowing we made a difference.