NORFOLK, Va. (WTOK) - The U.S. Navy has more than 300,000 active duty men and women. They all sign up to sail the seven seas for their country, leaving family and friends behind.
Many of them are either from or have gone through training in Meridian. What does it take to serve in the military and what is life like for a sailor?
It's certainly a unique experience that's difficult for civilians to understand.
Newscenter 11 was invited to spend several days with the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, Virginia.
And where better to start than swimming? As a minimum, recruits need to be able to swim 50 yards and float for five minutes. The coveralls and helmet are designed to make the situation more realistic, like in a man overboard or plane crash situation. Next was drown proofing.
Good news. With just a little guidance from the Navy divers, I passed.
Happy to be back on dry land, it was time to look the part with a uniform.
Then, packing a bag for sea.
We take to the sky headed for the aircraft carrier to be a 'sailor for a day'.
That part of the action will be in part 2, Apr. 22, on the next edition of Military Matters during Newscenter 11 at 6 and 10. We'll have an in-depth series about the assignment in Norfolk in May.