Speaker: My name's Chief Petty Officer Paul DeLaughter. I'm the public affairs officer for the Navy Recruiting District of New England. First of all, when you say "public affairs," there's this stigma of spinsters or whatever. That's not really the case. What we do is just try to put out the story, put out the good news that our guys and gals are doing. You know, a lot of people still have that old mentality of, you know, "big ships with big guns," and they don't understand that we do a whole lot more than that. You know, we might be doing counter-piracy operations in Africa, and the next day we could be in Haiti providing disaster relief. There's all kinds of things that we do, and it's our job to get that word out so parents, and guidance counselors and the like can educate these young men and women so they can join the Service.
There's a lot to be said about being a Sailor nowadays. The education is just phenomenal, and there's so many stories to tell. There's so many people to talk to. There's so many things to do. It's hard getting it all done. You know, sometimes you work some late days, but you do hard work because it's a good job. You know, nothing good comes easy. A couple months ago I was riding the train back home, I was in my uniform, and a 14-year-old boy came up to me, and he stuck out his hand, and he shook my hand and he said, "Thank you for your service." And it wasn't that he was thinking "me" that made it such a, you know, an event for me. It was that he was cognizant of what the Military does. He said he had a brother that was a Marine. He doesn't know anything about the Navy. He just knows that I was wearing a uniform, but he does know that we're out here doing good work. And if he knows, then his parents know, and if he knows, his friends know, and that's what makes me feel good that people appreciate what we do and understand.