Channel 3's David McKay becomes a sailor for a day - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Channel 3's David McKay becomes a sailor for a day

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Channel 3 reporter David McKay suits up to be be a sailor for the day. (WFSB) Channel 3 reporter David McKay suits up to be be a sailor for the day. (WFSB)

Day in and day out, American men and women are working across the world to make sure we stay safe here at home.

The United States Navy recently extended an invitation to visit the hometown heroes at sea and learn about their roles in the military.

Channel 3 Reporter David McKay made it to Norfolk, Virginia, home to the largest Navy base in the world. McKay saw a $13 billion aircraft carrier in the process of being built. He became a Navy sailor for the day.

McKay was told to bring a blue T-shirt and some black boots to become a Sailor for a Day.

But before catapulting 0 to 160 in a matter of seconds or climbing aboard, sailors will gear up and they have a lot to carry.

“The major thing is figuring out how to fit them in this small little bag,” Petty Officer Second Class, Mathew Cascella said.

Cascella helped show McKay how to put on the pants at the Navy Exchange, where they’ve outfitted generations.

“The belt buckle is supposed to line up with the edge of your zipper,” Cascella said.

Cascella is from Milford, CT now working with computers on a carrier.

“I watched Top Gun as a kid and I was like man I want to do that and here I am,” Cascella said.

To see pictures from our tour of duty, click here

After just a few minutes, McKay said the circulation starts getting cut off to your arms and your shoulders and your hands start to go numb.   

McKay went into an MH-60 Sierra, which was made by Sikorsky in Connecticut. The MH-60 Sierra were used on many different missions including search and rescue, such as in the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

The blades drown out the noise while your eyes take in the size and scope. An opportunity for people to see what they’re paying for.

“What they’re paying for is the world’s finest Navy and it’s staffed by young people young sailors that are from your communities,” CDR. Dave Hecht, who is the Navy public affairs officer, said. “Helo-counter measure squadron, we deal with minesweepers.”  

Back on solid ground, Jordan Cobin works on the attachments that go on some of the helicopters.

“I’m 19-years-old,” Cobin said.  I’m actually from Milford, Connecticut the town next to Stratford where they make the aircrafts.”

From the northeast to the farthest points in the world, the U.S. Navy can be found.

“An aircraft carrier is a different animal from anything else in the Navy or I’d argue in any of our services,” USS Harry S. Truman Capt Nick Dienna said.

McKay joined the Navy as they flew over the Atlantic Ocean to board the USS Harry S. Truman.

“We’re going to basically go down six decks down to the shaft alley so pretty much just watch your head,” LTJG Brian Fritz with the USS Harry S. Truman Reactor Department said.

That’s when McKay met more men and women who serve our country. 

McKay got all suited up even got his own name tags and over the next couple of days, he got to see something that most people never get to experience traveling by land, air and sea. He is doing it to give all of us a firsthand look at the men and woman that protect us day in and day out.

Here are the previous stories in this series:

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