Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Red, White and Blue Navy Blog

Happy Birthday USA!
America turns 229 this July 4th. Our freedom has come at a heavy price. During all the fireworks and flag-waving, remember the very high price so many have paid, often time with their lives, for the freedoms we too-often take for granted.

I had a great Navy day!
Thanks to the entire crew of the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) for an incredible day aboard on June 23. Captain Donald Patterson Roane, Jr. and his entire crew, as do all of our men and women serving in the military, deserve all of our support, just like they support and defend us. Check out these pictures of my day at sea.

Our trip stated out very early in the morning. (Hey, this is the Navy!) And before I go any further, I paid for all my travel expenses including the lunch I had with the crew while aboard the Lake Champlain. The Navy is taking care of your defense AND your tax dollars!

We flew out to the ship aboard an H 60 Seahawk, a Navy version of the Blackhawk Helicopter. I was outfitted with a lot of protective and survival gear.

We prepare for our flight out to the USS Lake Champlain

On the flight out we had an added bonus. One of our nuclear submarines was outbound from Point Loma. The crew will spend the next two months submerged. And the area they’ll patrol is strictly classified.

Outbound off Point Loma, Ca. Destination: Classified!

Guided Missile Cruisers are pretty big ships. But from the air, the Lake Champlain looked pretty small. And the landing area at the stern of the ship looked even smaller. But our flight crew (we were part of a scheduled training mission) knew their jobs and then some.

CG-57 USS Lake Champlain

Our H 60 Seahawk lands aboard the Lake Champlain

Once aboard, Captain Donald Patterson Roane, Jr met us. He’s the commander of the Lake Champlain. His job is a combination of CEO and Mayor.

John W. Scherer and Captain Roane

Guided Missile Cruisers normally are part of an Aircraft Carrier Task Force. The Lake Champlain acts as a line of defense to protect the carrier, and the weapons are formidable, along with the crewmembers that maintain and operate them. Woe to anyone who dares to test these men and women!! Not only does the Lake Champlain have missiles, but cannons and even guns that fire thousands of rounds a minute.
These pictures below are just some of the various weapons systems aboard the Lake Champlain

Ultimately the men and women aboard the Lake Champlain impressed me. A lot! They typify all that is good about our military and why our armed forces are the best in the world. These young men and women, and I do mean YOUNG, sacrifice so much to defend us. I returned home feeling very secure in the fact that these are the types of people that make it possible for us to work and play safely here in the United States because they’re taking the fight to the enemy.

Next week we’ll have a lot more pictures posted on some special websites our team is creating for you and we’ll have the links posted on next week’s blog.

Site o’ the week
Sometime this week, read The Declaration of Independence. At the risk of their very lives, our founding fathers shook of the yoke of British Rule. Read and appreciate every word!

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Yours truly,
John W. Scherer
Member Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau. Check out our report at