BREMERTON, Wash. – Quartermaster 3rd Class Jeremy Bloom, a Sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and native of Chicago, along with local veteran volunteers guided tourists around the USS Turner Joy (DD 951) Sunday.
Turner Joy, most remembered for its participation in the Gulf of Tonkin incident which escalated the United States involvement in the Vietnam War, is now a public attraction maintained and manned primarily by volunteers. Volunteers dedicate their time towards preserving the flagship and educating the public about its lengthy maritime history.
“It’s the volunteers who’ve made and still make this happen,” said John E. Gerten, retired Chief Torpedoman and curator of Turner Joy. “Younger generations will read about vessels like these, but the sea stories from active-duty and prior-service volunteers impact them more when they hear and see for themselves in person.”
As one of many tour guides available with naval experience, Bloom is able to further relate the shipboard experience to those who come to visit when telling his own personal stories.
“It’s great to showcase and educate the public about a piece of history they didn’t know much about,” said Bloom. “It is amazing how people realize the facets of our life out to sea and how different it might be from theirs. The concept of watches to be stood, or the tiny racks we sleep in is surprising to most.”
Volunteer efforts like these are another avenue for Bloom and other Nimitz Sailors to positively connect with their local community and share their military experiences to the public while helping to keep a piece of history alive.
Story and photos by MC3 Lauren Jennings