Video by Tim Mc Robert
OFF KAUAI (KHNL)- The military's largest biennial training exercises end Wednesday. RIMPAC finishes a nearly two week run. There are thousands of US sailors and Marines participating in this summer's war games. We spent a night on board the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault vessel, to get a small taste of the seafaring life during RIMPAC exercises.
The USS Bonhomme Richard is 844 feet long. While it sounds huge, these stairwells and rooms seem to shrink after a while. Navy Midshipman Megan Murez is on her first cruise and says,
"It's been great. A little cramped but everyone's been great. I've gotten to meet so many nice people. I'm amazed at life on the ship and how everyone works together to get the job done."
Hawaii native Ladonna Aybar, a Navy sailor, says life at sea takes getting used to. "It's a lot of things you take for granted when you're at the house. You don't get to get in your car and drive wherever you want to."
She misses her daughter most. "You miss your family. You don't get to talk to them as much as you'd like to."
Navy sailor Bou Bou says he's grown to love shipboard life, after 9 years of service. "Life is great on the ship. The food is great and the morale on the ship can't get better than this."
But he enjoyed seeing his family in Ka'a'awa during RIMPAC. "It was nice to live a normal life, an island life. I'm going to miss it. But I had fun."
Bou Bou flashes a shaka and smiles. As the ship charts a new course, it's clear he'll take a little bit of Hawaii with him.