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(ARA) – One was America’s dreamboat — a handsome and accomplished 30-something who stole heart after heart in television’s hit reality show, “The Bachelor.” The other sports a broad, jowly mug and signature gap-toothed grin that helped launch his showbiz career playing villains, scrappers and scallywags.

So how does this unlikely duo come to be hanging out together in cyberspace? Despite their different ages, looks and backgrounds, both Andy Baldwin — voted ABC’s most popular “Bachelor” — and Ernest Borgnine — who won 1955’s Best Actor award, beating Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, James Dean and James Cagney — boast service in the United States Navy. And both are showcased on the new Navy Log (www.NAVYLOG.org), an inviting Web site sponsored by the United States Navy Memorial to offer a forum for Navy enthusiasts to connect with each other, share information and catch up with the latest Navy news.According to his Navy Log service profile, Andy Baldwin, M.D., is currently serving as a Navy Lieutenant and Undersea Medical Officer stationed in Washington, D.C. His impressive resume complements the charisma and classic good looks that made him such a TV favorite. Baldwin pursued his medical studies after receiving a full Navy ROTC scholarship to Duke University. A graduate of the University of California/San Francisco School of Medicine, he is an Ironman triathlete and all-American swimmer who walks the walk as a community leader, motivator, and advocate for public service. “Triathlete” and “Competitor” magazines both cited Baldwin as their 2006 Humanitarian of the Year.

Ernest Borgnine had already served a decade in the Navy 40 years before Baldwin was born. The son of Italian immigrants, he was a scrappy youth who loved athletics and joined the Navy right after high school, serving through World War II. He eventually turned to Hollywood, where charm and versatility would triumph over typecasting and he made his mark through many memorable roles. Most baby boomers remember him fondly as the irrepressible Quentin McHale in the sitcom “McHale’s Navy.” In his just-released autobiography, Borgnine says acting is still his greatest passion. A noted philanthropist, the Navy veteran received the honorary rank of Chief Petty Officer in 2004 for his support of the Navy and Navy families worldwide.

In addition to bios, videos and pictures of these and other prominent cultural and political icons who share the experience of Navy service, the new Navy Log is the latest online evolution of a database that goes back 20 years and hosts individual service profiles of more than 600,000 Navy, Marine Corps, Merchant Marines and Coast Guard veterans.

“We wanted to expand and energize the scope of the original site to allow anyone with a passion for the Navy to sign on and tell their tale,” says Rear Adm. Richard A. Buchanan, president and CEO of the Navy Memorial. Site capabilities, which are still under development, feature a social networking option that allows Navy Log members to create personal profiles, search for and connect with each other, and create and join Navy affinity groups.

“The possibilities are pretty exciting,” Buchanan explains. “A group can be a ship reunion group like the USS Fechteler, a service community group like the Vietnam-Era Seabees, a family group like the Navy Wives Club of Whidbey Island or a group of Navy shipyard workers. Celebrities aren’t the only people with compelling stories.”  

So who floats your boat? Who is your Navy hero? Did your grandfather serve on one of the fleet’s legendary battleships? Is your sister on her first tour of duty in Iraq?  

Here’s how you can create a celebrity profile of your favorite sailor:

* Go to www.NavyLog.org.
* Register for a user account (it’s free and your information is kept private).
* Log on and build a personal profile or a Navy Log service profile.

You can then sign up for e-mail updates, join a community or create one of your own organized around your Navy interests and experience. You can also post video and pictures to create a cyber-scrapbook of news and cherished memories. You can even link to local newspaper articles that mark milestones in your loved one’s Navy journey.

For more information on the new Navy Log and the Navy Memorial, call (202) 737-2300.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Author: Andy Quayle

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