President Clinton onboard the USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) in Sept 1995 during a wreath laying ceremony. The sailor is none other than Petty Officer First Class Gilbert Polanco. Yep, it's me.
I was stationed onboard the USS CARL VINSON from Jan 93-May 96. In the summer of 1995, we were headed toward Pearl Harbor to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the the end of WW II in the Pacific. We loaded a pile of vintage aircraft, including a corsair, and got underway.
The first day at sea, we were all asked to write something about a family member who served in WW II. I wrote about my Dad who served as a Gunner's Mate (later becoming a Chief Damage Controlman) and retired after twenty-four years of service.
A few days later, I was told that my Dad's story earned me the privilege of being part of the ceremonial guard for a wreath laying with President Clinton which would take place in the waters by the USS ARIZONA on national TV.
My friends, knowing that I was a Republican, made fun of me. They kept ribbing me that I was going to be hanging with the one guy most of the Armed Forces disliked. I replied to them, "While you guys are sitting below, with your thumbs up your asses, I'm going to be on national TV with the Commander In Chief."
Now some may find my pride to be a strange thing but, even though I didn't like the guy, he was still The President Of The United States Of America. That made him my president and if anyone wanted to mess with him, they'd have to go through me. It has to do with respect.
Maybe it's just the way I was brought up. It's too bad modern liberals weren't brought up the same way.