Fleet Week San Diego to offer more free family fun

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-14 21:20:43-04

Military officials Tuesday announced the many events and sights that will be a part of this year's Fleet Week San Diego.

This year's Fleet Week will run from Sept. 10-15, and for the first time in eight years, the Sea and Air Parade will make a return. A dramatic display of destroyers, subs, flyovers and more will storm San Diego Bay.

Senior Chief Patrick McCormick was on board the USS Midway Museum for the announcement. He was 18 when he made his mind up to serve.

"It's one of those days where you just wake up and you know this is the next step," McCormick said.

"We're working 24 hours a day sometimes," McCormick added. "There's no rest because freedom doesn't take a day off."

His first deployment to Iraq took a toll on his heart.

"[There were] a lot of casualties," he said. "A lot of friends died."

He did not just hear about it. He saw the horrors in those raw moments right after death. He was basically the chaplain's bodyguard.

"The chaplain and I would go to say our farewells to people who are dying or unfortunately had already passed," McCormick explained.

He serves for a reason, and he serves humbly. He was quick to credit fellow sailors.

"It's the day-to-day work by our support sailors that make everything happen," he said.

McCormick was referring to service members like cooks, engineers and admin workers.

"Those guys are what really keep us in the fight," he added. "And, you'll get to see that at Fleet Week."

Fleet Week showcases what they do on a daily basis. About 100,000 people showed up last year to see the excitement of the Speed Fest, tour ships and aircraft.

You might find another reason to thank sailors like McCormick for their service, which is often more for us than them.

When asked what his country means to him, he said this: "Everything. It's my heartbeat. It's the reason why I wake up."

The Port of San Diego is a major sponsor. Most events are free to attend.

Here is a list of activities:

-- Military Family Tailgate: Saturday, September 3, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Qualcomm Stadium
-- Fleet Week Golf Tournament: Friday, September 9, 11:00 a.m. - Admiral Baker Golf Course
-- Fleet Week Sea & Air Parade: Saturday, September 10, 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - San Diego Bay
-- Ship Tours: September 10-14, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. - Broadway Pier
-- STEM Fair: Saturday-Sunday, September 10-11, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. - Broadway Pier
-- Fleet Week Football Classic: Saturday, September 10, 7:30 p.m. - Qualcomm Stadium