Armed Forces Day Weeklong Salute & May Is Military Appreciation Month / U.S. Navy

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Gayle Anderson was live in San Pedro to continue her weeklong salute to Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 16th and May as Military Appreciation Month. Tuesday’s focus is on the U.S. Navy.

The United States is a nation with a long maritime heritage. Americans chose to establish a navy nine months before they declared themselves politically independent from Great Britain in 1775. To Americans, a navy was a symbol of their sovereignty, their national maturity, and their determination to fight for control of their seaboard frontier. Throughout its history, the United States has had a navy for all but nine years.

Samuel P. Huntington, writing in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings in 1954, suggested that the history of the nation's defense policy could best be divided into three periods. Huntington identified the continental period, beginning in 1775 and lasting until the 1890s, as an era during which threats to American national security were narrowly defined and either originated or were dealt with in North America. The oceanic period began in the 1890s and lasted until 1945. Americans defined their national interests in somewhat broader terms and chose to prevent would-be threats from reaching the continental United States, or even the Western Hemisphere. Since 1945 the United States has defined its national interests even more broadly and attempted to head off or confront threats to those interests along the periphery of the Eurasian landmass. Throughout this post-World War II transoceanic period, the U.S. Navy, frequently as part of an integrated, multiservice team, has been assigned missions that involved the projection of naval power ashore by means of aviation, amphibious, and missile -- cruise and ballistic-- assets. Courtesy Michael A. Palmer.

According to statistics from Navy, the U.S. Navy has over 325,000 enlisted active duty personnel, over 195,000 civilian employees, 273 deployable battle force ships and 3700+ aircraft. Today's Navy is equipped to handle operations both on and under the sea, in the air and on the ground. Its reach is worldwide, spanning 100 international ports and touching the farthest corners of the open ocean. Elite groups within the Navy, such as the SEALs and Navy Divers, receive specialized training for advanced warfare situations. A Navy Sailor generally serves a term of four years aboard one of the Navy's deployable ships, though options for shorter time commitments exist. Courtesy: Today's Military

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922 by the Navy League of the United States. Although it was not a national holiday, Navy Day received special attention from then President Warren Harding. October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt's birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy. Navy Day was last observed on Oct. 27, 1949. Information courtesy of U.S Department of Defense

Today’s segment featured the USS Los Angeles Naval Memorial in John S. Gibson Park in San Pedro. The heavy cruiser CA-135 USS Los Angeles was financed by war bonds purchased by the residents of the city and county of Los Angeles. The campaign produced over $80 million, and was so successful that it helped to finance four destroyers in addition to the USS Los Angeles.

The USS Los Angeles was commissioned in 1945. Recommissioned in 1951, she was the first U.S. Navy vessel to take enemy fire in Korea, and established a record for the longest-sustained bombardment ever logged by an American warship. After Korea, she returned to routine naval duties until 1963, when she was decommissioned and placed in the reserve fleet in San Diego. She was eventually scrapped in 1977.

When the USS Los Angeles was dismantled, San Pedro was able to obtain her main mast, her two anchors and one of the anchor chain capstans. Together, they form the monument that was dedicated in 1979. With code flags and the Stars and Stripes flying proudly, the mast has become a symbol of the heritage that San Pedro Harbor represents.

An extensive collection of memorabilia from the USS Los Angeles is on display at the L.A. Maritime Museum. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last entry is at 4:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $3 for adults, $1 for seniors and FREE for children. For more information, click HERE.

Also, May is Military Appreciation Month. There are MANY activities honoring all branches of the military. Here is a list of some of them. Please feel free to alert me to events we have not mentioned by email:

MAY IS MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH: Flair Cleaners, Southern California’s leading eco-friendly dry cleaners, will host its Fifth Annual Flair Care Package Drive, one of the largest drives of its kind, May 16th through May 24th, to benefit America’s military and their families. In partnership with Bob Hope USO, Flair Cleaners will collect items for care packages at each of its five Southern California locations, which will be sent to military personnel throughout the world. Additionally, Flair will dry clean or launder up to five shirts, blouses or pants for active duty military personnel and veterans at no charge May 21 - 24, 2015.

Beginning Armed Forces Day and concluding Memorial Day weekend, residents and businesses can donate individually packaged snacks, toiletries, and other items that offer a “touch-of-home” to military personnel and families, wherever they are deployed. A complete list can be found on the Flair Cleaners Facebook page, Donations can be brought to any of the five Flair Cleaners locations – Burbank, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Studio City, and Valencia. Every Flair Cleaners customer who donates will receive a certificate for 50% off dry cleaning as a thank you.  In addition, customers can donate via text by sending the word “Bob” to 27722.

Year-round, Flair provides complementary cleaning for United States Flags and discounts for military personnel.

Bob Hope USO, an independent, not-for-profit organization, lifts the spirits of more than 150,000 troops and their families annually throughout the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. Anchored by airport centers at LAX, Ontario, Orange County and Palm Springs, Bob Hope USO also provides high-quality programs and support to bases throughout Southern California including critical morale and welfare boosting efforts and services. The organization receives no funding from the federal government or Department of Defense, relying on the generosity of individuals, corporations, community organizations and philanthropic giving to support its work. Learn more HERE.

About Flair Cleaners: With a reputation built on innovation and customer service, Flair has been your Southern California dry cleaner for more than 50 years. And, while times and fashion may have changed, one thing hasn’t: Flair’s commitment to help customers look their best. Flair’s commitment to impeccable quality and customer service began when the Futterman and Singer families first opened a dry cleaning business in Chicago in 1958. Their tradition of excellence continued when the families’ first Southern California cleaners opened in 1963. Today, Flair Cleaners has five Southern California locations – Burbank, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Studio City and Valencia.

Flair was one of the first cleaners in Southern California to adopt the GreenEarth dry cleaning process, the industry’s premier all-natural cleaning method. Its state-of-the-art, highly efficient equipment conserves resources and safely cleans garments and household items. For more information on Flair Cleaners, its community service or its green environmental practices and awards, click HERE, or like us on Facebook at

TORRANCE ARMED FORCES DAY WEEKEND / TORRANCE: Beginning May 15, 2015, through Sunday, May 17, 2015, the City of Torrance will pay tribute to the nation’s Armed Forces with its 56th Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration and Parade. This is the city’s longest standing tradition. Each year, the city honors a different military branch. This year the city honors the United States Coast Guard. Grand Marshal, Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio, Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District, will lead the parade Saturday, May 16, 2015, that will begin at 1:30 pm.

The parade will include active and reserve military units from the five branches of the Armed Forces. Also, the parade will feature military vehicles including: humvees, armored personnel carriers, support vehicles and Abrams Battle Tanks and more rumbling down the streets of Torrance.

Additionally, Rear Admiral Servidio will conduct the swearing in of hundreds of future military recruits from the five branches. Military and elected dignitaries, along with the community, will honor hundreds of military service men and women as they pass in review.

Throughout the weekend, the following events will occur in Torrance as part of the celebration: Military Exhibits: Vehicles and support equipment on display outside the Life Style Wing in the east parking lot at the Del Amo Fashion Center, Friday May 15, 2015, from 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday May 16, 2015, from 3pm to 8 pm; and on Sunday May 17, 2015, from 11 am to 3 pm.

Free Concert: The Air Force Band of the Golden West will perform for free at the James Armstrong Theatre on Friday, May 15, 2015, at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets will be available at the Box Office on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, beginning at 10 am.

There is a limit of four tickets per adult (18+). Ticket holders must be in their seats 15 minutes prior to concert time. There will be a line available for empty seats beginning 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start times.

Parade: The parade will begin on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at 1:30 pm and run westbound along Torrance Boulevard starting at Crenshaw Boulevard and ending at City Hall.

For more information about the Armed Forces Day Parade & Celebration, please click HERE.

HELP THE FUNDRAISER FOR THE FISHER HOUSE: Fisher House Southern California Fisher House Southern California is a collaborative effort of the Long Beach Rotary, American Gold Star Mothers, the American Legion and other groups, organizations and individuals anxious to support our Nation’s promise and obligation to support those who have sacrificed for our Country’s freedom and security.

The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in a time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and their families. As well as, the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

For members of our Armed Forces, retirees, veterans and their families, the Fisher House program offers shelter and support during a medical crisis. Fisher Houses offer a comforting “home away from home” while a loved one is receiving care in an unfamiliar environment a distance from home. This special support is even more important to a family during the most stressful of times – the hospitalization of a wounded or injured service member having been involved in military operations.

Both the VA and the Fisher House Foundation have already approved a Fisher House for the VA Long Beach campus. Our job, as a newly formed 501(c) (3) non-profit, is to assist in the fund raising process to make this building a reality and to assist in supporting the house after it is built.

With the help and support of people like you, once completed, the Fisher House Southern California will be paid in full. The staffing and maintenance expenses will be the responsibility of the VA.

For more information, take a look at the website.

USS Los Angeles Memorial
John S. Gibson Park
550 South Harbor Boulevard
San Pedro, CA 90731

Los Angeles Maritime Museum
John S. Gibson Park
600 Sampson Way
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 548-7618

Friday, May 15th through Sunday, May 17th
56th Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration & Parade

Saturday, May 16th
1:30 p.m. through 3:30 p.m.
56th Annual Armed Forces Day Parade
Begins at Crenshaw Boulevard & Torrance Boulevard
Torrance, CA

If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail

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