The Bonhomme is an amphibious operation, which means the back of the boat looks like a gator’s mouth: there is a wide opening in the back well that can be opened even larger as the ship lowers its ballast to the back end to let out giant landing rafts that can transport a dozen humveess and tanks to shore, loaded with marines. The ship had three of these crazy rafts. You can see in the photo above the giant fans that inflate the crafts so they can float to shore.
Up top, there was a runway to land helicopters and jets. It was pretty cool to see the helicopters up close.
Our tour was led by a really lovely lady whose job it is to DRIVE this boat! Can you imagine?!
She showed us around her “office” where she drives the boat.
The Bonhomme is a steam ship and can travel up to 20 knots.
The secondary mission of the boat is medical and one whole floor is a hospital. The room above can be turned into an ICU; you can see all the lamps and equipment just needs to be lowered into place.
After aircraft carriers and medical boats, it has the third largest medical facilities of all of the Navy’s boats. One whole floor is dedicated to medical.
Isn’t this a cool shot into an O.R. from the port hole? To end, I’ll leave you with some shots of the service people over at our home for a BBQ.
My neighbor Kirsten and I hosted and we asked some girlfriends to accompany to have more people on hand to chat with the service people. Unfortunately, the Mr.’s were caught at work, so we ended up having the Marines and Navy guys help with the BBQing. I think they actually miss doing things like this and they did a much better job than the girls would have done on their own so it all worked out!
We hosted the BBQ down by the pool / parking lot in the kiddie play area. It was nice to be outside!
And finished up with some nice desserts!
A sweet ending to a sweet night! It’s always such a pleasure to meet these men and women and thank them for their service. If you’re interested in hosting, simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org