NEW YORK — Tens of thousands of visitors made their way to the Westside Thursday, for the second day of Fleet Week.
The navy vessels are just one part of the week long festivities where 2,300 servicemen and women converge on the region.
While some of them spent time enjoying the sights and sounds of the Big Apple, feeling the warmth of gratitude for their service, others are giving back.
In Jamaica, members of the U.S. Marines, Navy and Coast Guard put their skills to work, joining forces with Habitat For Humanity where gutted and renovated homes, making them affordable for low income families.
“I am hoping that they know that we’re just a member of the community just lending a hand and we hope that they appreciate what everyone does for them,” Liam Bacon of U.S. Coast Guard said, referring to the families who will eventually move in to the home.
While they were getting their hands dirty in Queens, divers were making a splash in Times Square.
U.S. Navy divers gave a live demonstration to spectators, giving them insight on equipment and technology they use on the front lines.
“We are showing that the Navy is really more than just ships and aircraft,” Lt. Kristi Fontenot told PIX11 News. “We are on the ground we are on the sea we are below the sea and we are in the sky.”
For father and daughter Kris and Dick Harvey, Fleet Week this year holds a very special meaning.
It’s not only their first time attending the festivities but this year marks the 60th anniversary since dad was discharged from the U.S. Navy.
“I think it’s just very rewarding for the families because the sacrifices that people make, I think a lot of people don’t realize what that does to a family,” Kris Harvey said.
It’s a feeling Brooklyn native and Staff Sergeant Henry Zapata says his family can identify with.
While he appreciates the gratitude from strangers, he keeps a leveled head on his shoulders.
“For me it feels like I really haven’t done much – I’m just doing my job like everyone else.”