The sound of the Navy’s precision flight team, the Blue Angels, flying over San Francisco Thursday marked the beginning of Fleet Week and 21 servicemembers kicked off the festivities with a trip to the hospital.

Men and women from the Marine Corp, Navy, and Coast Guard took a trip to San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center’s pediatrics unit to hand out books and hugs to the young patients, hospital officials said.

The servicemembers read stories to the patients, who ranged from toddlers to teens, in one of the many outreach programs planned for Fleet Week.

“It’s fun to have the opportunity to interact with the patients,” Navy Chaplain Jason DiPinto said in a statement. “It’s as exciting for us as it is for the kids.”

Fleet Week brings together the U.S. Navy, Marine Corp and Coast Guard to offer air shows, ship tours, a parade and festivals, according to event organizers.

Details about other events–including performances by military bands and ship tours–can be found at

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