NEW YORK (NNS) -- For the second consecutive year, Sailors and Marines from the commands participating in New York's 16th Annual Fleet Week got their pictures on the big screen... a really big screen.
Panasonic coordinated with the USO to once again put servicemembers' pictures on the Astro-Vision marquee in Times Square. May 22, in groups of four, the Sailors and Marines had their pictures taken digitally and posted to the Astro-Vision sign. The military personnel then had their pictures taken again in front of the marquee. Panasonic has a special Web site where the photographs may be reclaimed later by the servicemembers. The pictures are also e-mailed to all the Sailors' and Marines' hometown newspapers.
Panasonic also sponsored a random drawing for two prizes: a digital camera and a laptop computer, for the servicemembers who participated in the event.
Justin Camerlengo, the Panasonic executive who coordinated the event with the USO, said, "We were just looking for a way to give back to the men and women of the armed forces who keep us safe."
Fleet Week is New York's annual celebration of the maritime services, with approximately 250 events planned for the more than 3,500 Sailors and Marines visiting during the celebration.
Several Sailors from USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) were among the many service personnel who waited in line to see their picture on Broadway. Damage Controlman 3rd Class Justin Stern, Damage Controlman 3rd Class Peter Ogonowski, Hull Technician Fireman Stephen Vicari and Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Ben Gyger had their picture taken together and appreciated Panasonic's generosity.
"It's really great to look up and see your picture up on the screen like that," said Ogonowski, a native of Ventura, Calif.
Stern, a Branford, Conn., native added, "It's cool to have the people of New York welcome us to their city like this."
For related news, visit the Commander Navy Region Northeast Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cnrne.