View Full Version : Stationed in Norfolk
My 20 year old daughter will be stationed in Virginia as of June. I am glad to hear that the ship she will serve on has never left dry dock and she will be safe in some small airconditioned room doing her "spook" stuff. My mind is at rest for now. At least till she goes elsewhere. Can anyone tell me what impression they have had of the Norfolk, Virginia station?
i was stationed in Norfolk for 2 years 8 months onboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. i lived in better places but it was alright. Tell her to learn what areas to stay away from(there are many). you say that she is in drydock,is that for an overhaul,upkeep,or pre-comm? There is alot of history in that area. Some places to visit would be Williamsburg,Ft. Eustis Army museum,Wash.DC,Virginia Beach area etc.
I'm on my fifth tour in the Norfolk area - it's like any other city: a fine place, as long as you're smart and stay out of the wrong areas. Unfortunately, young Sailors seem to do anything they can to get away from the free living space on the ship and move out in town. That usually involves several of them chipping in their pennies to get an apartment in one of those areas they shouldn't be visiting. If your daughter starts talking about moving out into town, make sure you ask lots of questions.
As far as the general area, there's plenty to do. The ocean front is only 20 minutes away, and there's quick access to the Metro DC area, NC Outer Banks, etc.
As far as being "safe" in dry dock -- there's nothing inherently more dangerous about being at sea or deployed than there is being in the shipyard. In fact, in some ways it's safer to be at sea. As a CT, your daughter isn't in a rate that carries great risk just because of what they do -- like those guys who work the flight deck on an aircraft carrier. You shouldn't worry about her - whether she's in Norfolk or in the Persian Gulf. Statistically speaking, she's probably safer in the Navy then she was back home with you.
By the way, thanks for letting us "borrow" her for a few years. I can promise you that we take that responsibility very seriously and we'll take care of her for you!
You mentioned that your daughter's ship "has never left dry dock." Most ships in dry dock are in Portsmouth, VA, across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk. Portsmouth in not a safe place to be at night, neither are parts of Norfolk for that matter. Whether she'll be in Norfolk or Portsmouth I strongly recommend that she make friends with sailors who own cars, if she does not have one herself. Most ships, bases provide bus service to/from local malls during daylight hours. Taxis are recommended at night time. Unless of course she has a car. Most likely she will make friends with sailors who share similar interests, and like sailors of years gone by - they always take care of each other.
I have lived in the Tidewater area for 20 years and retired from the Navy in 2001. I understand your concern for your daughter's safety. I have three girls 24, 22 & 19 with the two older ones on their own, and one son, 14. Let me know if there is anything else you'd like to know about the area.
nov. 76 threw feb. 1980.allmost 3 1/2 years.it sucked back then.i can only imagine it has to have inproved.back in jimmy carters navy we were less than scum as seen by the locals.with all the patiotisum of the past 20 years maby its better.SQUID is a dorogotory term when heard from the civilian pop.o shes a her.nevermind.shell be just fine.
My best friend's ship is in drydock in Norfolk right now (he posts on this forum), and I spent a couple of weeks there when I outprocessed. Other than that I was lucky enough to avoid the place during my time in the Navy.
First of all, I would caution you that if her ship "has never left drydock," it probably will leave very soon.
Norfolk is a huge area, and there are a lot of bases strewn across the coast there. The small amount of time I spent there showed me that most of the Norfolk natives are un-friendly, if not openly hostile, towards military members. A large portion of the bases are surrounded by low-income areas, with higher than average crime.
I'll say this, if she's that young, she probably has a room on a berthing barge. And unless she's travelling away from the general Norfolk area, I'd advise her to stay there until she can afford to live in the nicer areas.
Regardless, good luck to her.
I am a reservist, and I spent my two weeks annual training on NOB last year. I was also able to get to D.C. on the weekend. I liked the base. It is almost a self-contained city. However, you need a car to get around off-base.
yes that place sucked.i doubt it has changed since i was there in nov-76-jan 1980 .
I was only stationed in Norfolk area for schools, so it was not an extensive period, however, I disliked it greatly. San Diego base is way better! I was also stationed in Pascagoula, MS, and that sucked too, and in Guam, that was great!
Many sailors have a bad impression of a base if they were very junior when they were there or if they were only there a short time.
When you go to your first duty station it can be a lonely time. You don't know anyone or how to get around and you don't have much money which is never any fun.
The longer you are at a base the more friends you make the more senior you are (more money) and you learn how to get around to the places and things you like. By the time you leave that first duty station it is the best place in the world.
I did my last 10 years at Norfolk transfering from ship to shore and back until I retired.
A sailor can have a good time or get in a heap O'trouble depending on what they want to do.
"Dogs and Sailors are ordered to keep off the grass" (signs seen in Norfolk)
I was there as part of the Pre Com Unit of Nimitz in 1974-75.
I was precom on the Eisenhower. I never wanted to see that shipyard again.
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