" Sailors’ On-Base Liberty — Then & Now " ….. From the Navy Times “Scoop Deck” [online] for July 26, 2010 :

Our distinguished colleague Andrew Tilghman has a great write-up this week about how the way sailors spend their time off duty has changed over the past few decades. Gone are the old-fashioned clubs for people to gather on base, replaced by “eatertainment”-themed “liberty centers,” where sailors get a slice of pizza and surf the Web.

Back in the day, Tilghman writes, alcohol was a big part of socializing in the Navy — what a surprise — but as society changed, the brass tried to take the focus off after-hours drinking. Also, the clubs of yesteryear didn’t have to be self-sufficient, but when Big Navy decided everything had to “run like a business” in the late 1990s, on-base clubs couldn’t compete against off-base restaurants. People changed too. Young sailors entering the Navy today can stay in touch online with their friends and family much easier than their predecessors could before the computer era, and so today’s newcomers may feel less of a need to hang out with their shipmates after hours. Even more basic than that, today’s sailors don’t use the Navy’s surviving clubs to socialize, one of them told Tilghman. Instead, they watch TV or play video games.

(Source: militarytimes.com)

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