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San Francisco Native Sailor Visits NYC for the First Time and Marches in Veterans Day Parade

28 December 2022

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bounome Chanphouang

A veil of clouds shrouds the Manhattan cityscape as a steady drizzle of rain trickles on his freshly pressed blues, but he continues to march proudly in honor of those who served before him. Navy Enginemen 2nd Class Mack Ernest, assigned to Naval Weapons Station Earle, set foot in New York City for the first time to march alongside his fellow service members for the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade.
NEW YORK – Nov. 11, 2022 – A veil of clouds shrouds the Manhattan cityscape as a steady drizzle of rain trickles on his freshly pressed blues, but he continues to march proudly in honor of those who served before him. Navy Enginemen 2nd Class Mack Ernest, assigned to Naval Weapons Station Earle, set foot in New York City for the first time to march alongside his fellow service members for the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade.
Veterans Day is a national holiday that honors all American veterans of all wars. Every November 11th, the country respects those who served to defend American freedom and our way of life.
Despite feeling like he was one of a hundred thousand people in uniform, “It still made me proud to be there, even if I'm soaking wet standing in ranks for an hour and a half," Ernest said. The Sailor was delighted to see different branches and commands and "all of the people there coming out to support us, to cheer us on and show us that they care," he said.
Ernest grew up in San Francisco and spent most of his life on the West Coast. New York City didn't seem much different from growing up in San Francisco, but East Coast hospitality did. He described them as more “decorative” and felt "…it was pleasant to see that people still care to celebrate things and express themselves in different ways."
Although the California native was on the opposite side of the country from his family, that didn't stop his mother from watching her son march in the Big Apple. Ernest told his mother, Patricia Morrison, about his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the veteran's event. He said she regularly follows his career for support, and Morrison was ready to wake up no matter how early to possibly catch a glimpse of him. Ernest said he was directly in front of one of the cameras.
The proud mother texted her son later in the day, "I just saw you!" she wrote. "You look so military. Hope the rain isn't too bad." She explained the cameras focused on security, "…but I was looking, and there you were! Hope you are having a good time," Morrison wrote. She was elated to see her son in uniform on national television. The Sailor said, “Knowing my mom got to see me in uniform on national television is a little different than just seeing me in uniform at home."
 
 
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