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S.F. welcomes service members with sunny weather and good vibes for Fleet Week

San Francisco welcomes service members for Fleet Week
San Francisco welcomes service members for Fleet Week 03:25

SAN FRANCISCO -- Many sailors and Marines are spending the weekend exploring San Francisco and its many tourist attractions.

The Hi Dive on the Embarcadero is just one of several popular bars across the city that service members are visiting to kick off the weekend. It's the closest spot to grab a drink near the USS John P. Murtha, a Navy ship from San Diego.

WATCH: Fleet Week Spectacular Friday Blue Angels Air Show

Daniel Chavez, who's from Las Vegas, is a Marine who serves as a senior combat cargo assistant.

"I love the city. I love the architecture with all the buildings. I've actually been taking a lot of pictures of them and I enjoyed one of the local parks around," he said. 

The Hi Dive saw much stronger sales at this year's Fleet Week compared to last year. Still, business isn't quite back to pre-pandemic Fleet Week levels. 

"I had zero expectations coming to San Francisco. I love to travel which is one of the reasons why I enlisted and I came here with an open mind just to see what your city has to offer and it has not disappointed," Chavez said. "So far, I've tried a lot of the local cuisine, the local beverages and, especially, the Epic Steakhouse down the road. First time I've ever had anything called 'black lava salt.'" 

Demestrius Rogers, who works in logistics on the ship, said one of his favorite parts about the job is traveling to countries like Thailand and the Philippines. This is his first time in San Francisco. So far, he's checked out Fisherman's Wharf.  

"I had some good food. I bought three pairs of glasses and I went to a candy store," he said. 

"The people -- I'm really big on people -- and just interacting with everyone here," said sailor Victor Loreto. "Everyone's so friendly, everyone's so supportive of the military that we've had here."

Los Altos resident Richard Mindigo, who served in the U.S. Air Force, drove up to see the Blue Angels. 

"It's all special. It is a great week to just highlight San Francisco and, when the weather cooperates, it doesn't' get any better," he said.

Mindigo thanked sailors and Marines for their service. 

"When I was younger and fresh out of boot camp I had no idea what to say because I was like I'm just starting around here. But now I appreciate the support that the local population gives me, especially the veteran folk," Chavez said.

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