SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- -

Some  of the sailors families came to Santa Barbara to see their sons and daughters.

3,200 sailors stepped off the USS Ronald Reagan Friday morning, and they’re spending time ashore Santa Barbara.

One of the sailors, Ryan McConnell, an electronics technician has been in the Navy  for four years.

McConnell said, “We’ve been checking out the harbor and the marina. Seeing the ship out there  even for me is magnificent.”

McConnell’s mother, Anne,  made the trip from Sacramento.

Anne McConnell said “You get a stronger sense of patriotism and a deeper appreciation when you get a loved one serving. It puts it in a different light.”

Around the  local community -- they’re hearing the thank-you’s for their service.

Anne McConnell said, “We met some people from out of state and they were so appreciative when they learned Ryan was on the ship, and they wanted a picture with him with the ship in the background. Towards the end of the visit the lady told me she would pray for him and from mother-to-mother that meant so much that there is somebody out there praying for my kids.”

The men and women will sail with their families on Sunday.