Invite lonely sailors home, the Navy asks Chicagoans

The US Navy announced a new program called dial-a-sailor, designed to give lonely seaman a chance to meet people. The USS William C. Lawe is scheduled to dock in Chicago today (July 13) for a three-day port call. Navy officials are urging Chicago area residents to call (312) 644-0479 and invite sailors to "a picnic, backyard barbecue, or sightseeing."

The Lawe, the third naval warship to dock here this year, is also scheduled to dock at 17 other cities, including Milwaukee, Detroit, and Cleveland, during its Great Lakes cruise.

"The ship's sailors and officers have handled hundreds of invitations so far . . . . It's been fun for the crew and good community relations for the Navy," Capt. Ted Kramer Jr. said.

Captain Kramer said his crew has been invited for fishing trips, backyard pool parties, private plane rides, dinn ers in fancy restaurants, water skiing, and camping trips.

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