Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What I Did On My Way To Work During Marine Week

Last week on Public Square in downtown Cleveland the Marines shared with passersby about their different vehicles and guns as part of  “Marine Week.”


Me sitting on the tank

People could climb in or on top of the vehicles which is what I did on my way to work Wednesday morning. I figured that was the best time because it wasn’t crowded that early. It was very fun to get up on the tank. I walked all around it wondering how to get up there so I finally asked and the marine showed me there was a rope kind of like a stirrup for my foot to boost me up higher and a handle on the top to use to pull me up. Coming down though was even more fun—on the front of the tank it curves a little and I just slid off like going down a slide! I didn’t go into the driver seat or the gunner compartment because I wasn’t so sure I could get out. It was like going down into a well. I did stick my head in to see the control panel for the driver. This would not be a good job for anyone who is claustrophobic! The Marines were very nice and took a couple pictures of me. They told me the tank was a very safe vehicle and that bullets can’t penetrate it.

They had a truck too which had a gun on top. They told me that was more handy than the tank because five men could ride inside plus store more ammo in the back. He said the driver and gunner would always stay with the vehicle but that the other three could get out quick if need be.

Grenade Launcher
I was surprised there were so many different kinds of guns. These were on display and people could hold them if they wanted to, but I didn’t. I asked if they got to choose their favorite and the marine sort of chuckled and said no, they have to use whatever the leader told them to use. They have their specialty but also several different ones too. My favorite would be the grenade launcher. Another thing I was very surprised at was that they carry two guns in a battle—they are very strong! The one they had that looked like a machine gun on a tripod he said is carried by two men.

Amphibious Assault Vehicle--goes on land and sea!

Inside the AAV

I went inside the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) which goes on both land and sea! It can hold 25-30 men and is used for transporting troops. It too had a driver seat and a gunner seat. This is where I tried on a couple helmets. The first was an older one and very heavy and uncomfortable, but the second was newer with more padding inside and although it was much heavier than my cap, it was more comfortable than the first one I wore.
Me modeling the padded helmet for you

Marine Band Playing on Public Square at lunch time

Tuesday through Friday the band put on a concert at 11:30 a.m. on the square. I stopped by one day on my break just long enough to hear the Star Spangled Banner.  They had other events different days too including flag football at the Browns stadium against the Cleveland police, fire and EMS and activities at Burke Lake Front airport Saturday and Sunday.

I sat inside this one too!

I would have loved climbing on all these vehicles as a kid. I guess I do have some kid in me still because I loved it as an adult too! How many people can say they’ve been on a tank?

(We are donating 50 cents for each legitimate comment we receive on all our blogs during June and July to The Wounded Warrior Project which helps wounded warriors and their families returning from current conflicts.)

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