Editor's note: This article first appeared in 2016
Ask any sailor or Marine who has experienced New York Fleet Week firsthand about their experience, and the first reaction is likely to be a knowing smirk.
Fleet Week comes to New York City for the week surrounding the Memorial Day weekend every spring. Suddenly, a city that has almost no military presence is filled with sailors and Marines in uniform.
I was born and raised in New York City. A visit to the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy as an elementary school kid left an indelible impression: The Navy was really cool. As a teenager, my parents forbade me to go anywhere near sailors during Fleet Week. As a 23-year-old ensign, I experienced Fleet Week in my summer whites as a member of the fleet.
Service members arriving on the half a dozen ships that participate will find that they will be berthed all over the city. My apologies to the ships stuck on Staten Island; you will have to take the ferry to get anywhere fun. The best deal is to be on the big-deck amphibious ship that gets to dock in midtown near Chelsea Piers .
Nearly everything during Fleet Week is free or steeply discounted for service members: Many of the Broadway shows offer free tickets, television programs bring service members into the audience, and the museums are all free.
Service members may also find that their meals and drinks are paid for by other customers, and that cover charges at popular nightlife hotspots are waived — and service members who have overnight liberty may find that the hotel they booked turned out to only be a place to leave a bag.
Here are some tips for surviving Fleet Week in your summer whites.
The man who plotted to bomb New York City's subway system and then switched sides to help investigators may be released from prison in the next few days.
Najibullah Zazi, a would-be terrorist trained by al Qaeda bomb-makers, pleaded guilty in 2010 to three charges associated with a plan to detonate explosive in the NYC subway. He was, according to CNN, charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support to a terrorist organization.
After being found guilty on all counts for a failed suicide bombing in a passageway to the Port Authority, a Bangladeshi immigrant declared the jury had gotten one thing wrong: He was no ISIS sympathizer.
Just over 16 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, law enforcement officials from the New York Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation found themselves investigating the specter of Islamic terrorism in the shadow of the World Trade Center.