(I had to edit this because I mixed up my port calls, it wasn’t Annapolis, that was another story in itself. We actually ported in Newport, Rhode Island.)

Synagogue was a great once in a life time experience. When I was stationed on the USS ANZIO CG-68 we pulled into Newport for a brief port stop & break from our mission. My job was a RP2(SW), Religious Program Specialist Petty Officer Second Class (E-5), for those Army buffs, the same rank as a Sergeant, a non-commissioned officer (NCO). We had one Jewish sailor who was active in his religion, I am unsure if we had any other Jewish sailors, if so they were silent about their faith. He was excited about our port stop and being an E-2 needed a liberty buddy (battle buddy) to go on shore with. It was during Passover and he wanted to celebrate at the local Synagogue. We went out on the town and bought some nice clothes because neither of us were prepared and found our way through the city. I don’t remember much of the service, being that it was almost twenty years ago and I’ve never been to a Synagogue since. However, I remember it being lovely and I really enjoyed being invited to witness such a beautiful ceremony. The building was extremely beautiful, it reminded me a little of visiting John Paul II church in Gdansk Poland. Religion and places of worship are very fascinating to me, for every faith group. I love exploring new ideas, and this is just one of many religious experiences that has shaped me into the man I am today.

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