South Florida Sailors and Marines Return to Miami for Fleet Week

South Florida Sailors and Marines Return to Miami for Fleet Week

MIAMI — Marines from the USS Bataan are displaying their equipment at Fleet Week Miami and preparing for another day of touring the region.

From Miami to the Treasure Coast, sailors and Marines told WPTV they were proud to represent the communities they grew up in and see the people they grew up with.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Port of Miami, Chief Warrant Officer Mark Perron of the U.S. Marine Corps is walking down the gangway to the USS Bataan, currently docked in his hometown.

“I grew up here in Miami,” Perron said. “I went to Nautilus Middle School here in Miami Beach.”

For the director of the 2nd Marine Division Brass Band, this marks the first anniversary of his death, as he will be performing at his alma mater’s high school.

“You can literally see the chair I was sitting in, and those kids weren’t born yet when I joined,” Perron said.

Marine Corps Sergeant First Class Ivan Ricardo’s father lives in Port St. Lucie. He wants to be reunited with the people and places he loves.

“It’s a tradition. I might see Stuart from Jensen Beach. I’m just excited,” Ricardo said.

Sergeant Major Jackie Blanc also represents the people he grew up with. He was born in French Martinique, raised in South Florida, and has recruited throughout the region.

“It’s nice, especially for a country that took in immigrants like me, it’s rewarding to give back,” Bran said.

For these Marines, it’s an opportunity to tell their stories and share their experiences right where their journey first began.

“That’s one of the great things. We’re made up of a diverse community. We’re a reflection of the country in a way. And here in Miami, we’re so culturally diverse that we I hope they take away that it reflects that,” Perron said. .

In fact, Perron performed Wednesday at the same Miami high school where he was scouted all those years ago.

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