By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Richard J. Stevens
NEW YORK (NNS) -- Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) hosted a Fleet Week New York City 2010 kick—off party at the Hard Rock Café May 26 with free food and a concert by the rock-band Fuel for Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.
Hard Rock opens its doors for this event and the troops every year, it was an exciting experience for newcomers to Fleet Week.
"This is our welcome to Fleet Week," said Melissa E. Forrester, special events coordinator for MWR Naval Submarine Base Groton, Conn. "We're all about morale and we want our service members to have a great time. It's great morale and awesome recreation. It's going to be a good night."
"I fully support the troops," said Brett Scallions, lead singer and rhythm guitarist. "You guys need some rest after being out to sea for seven months."
"I can't wait to get on stage," Scallions said.
The rock bank "Fuel," rallied the crowd of service members by a motivating stage presence that invoked audience involvement.
Ken Schalk hammered his drums to support the wall of electrified sounds of guitars and vocals.
Fuel's lead guitarist, Yogi Lonich, dressed as an Elvis Presley impersonator for some of the songs.
Fleet Week is the city's way of celebrating the sea services. It has been held nearly every year since 1984. It provides an opportunity for citizens of New York City and the surrounding Tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see, first-hand, the latest capabilities of today's maritime services.
Approximately 3,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will participate in the 22nd commemoration of Fleet Week New York May 26 - June 2.
In additional to public visitation of participating ships, there will be a number of exhibits highlighting technology of the maritime services and the skilled expertise of our service members.