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NAPLES, Italy — Seaman Brian Hughes has seen the hideous side of drunken driving.

“As a master-at-arms, I’ve seen what can happen. I’ve seen the accidents, and I’ve seen when sometimes, they don’t make it back,” said the 18-year-old military police sailor at Naval Support Activity Naples.

He applauds the base’s initiative to ferry single sailors on Saturday nights from the Capodichino base to the support site facility at Gricignano — location of the base’s movie theater, restaurant, Irish pub, bowling center and exchange and commissary. Late last year, the food court opened, featuring Taco Bell, A&W and KFC.

The free service, provided by the Liberty Center, starts Saturday with a bus that leaves Capodichino at 6 p.m. and returns from the support site at 11:30 p.m.

“One main reason we started this is because there is no bus service … for later in the evening, and sailors have told us in several focus groups and surveys that they feel isolated at Capo,” said Courtney Genovese, director of the Liberty Center, which runs single-sailor programs and events.

“Most people living here don’t have a car, and we just want to be able to give them a free service, whether they’re having a beer or not, to enjoy themselves and do it safely.”

Capodichino, which has about 500 single sailors, is primarily the Navy’s working base in Naples. The base does have a one-screen movie theater and a bar with pool tables and slot machines.

When Naples’ entertainment outlets opened at Gricignano last year, sailors rejoiced and lamented at the same time. The services were long-anticipated, but many of the young sailors at Capodichino had few options for getting to the other base, roughly 20 minutes away.

“I’m pretty much always sitting in my room. I really want to go to the movies or bowling, but had no way there,” said Seaman Alexander Davis. “I don’t have a car and figure I have no use for one. I’m 19, and don’t want to pay the insurance. I put money in retirement and buy stock, and that’s where a lot of my money goes.”

Sailors should request the service in advance through the Liberty Center, Genovese said, but impromptu travelers can ride if there is room.

Sailors clamored for the service, Genovese said. Now she wants to make sure they use it.

“They asked for this; if they don’t use, it will have to go,” she said. “We can’t keep paying for it if it’s not being used.”


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