MAYPORT, Fla. -

The USS Boone flew an American flag for the last time Thursday.

The Navy ship was lined with hundreds of sailors in full dress uniform to send it off properly and celebrate the decommissioning of the ship, which served the country for nearly 30 years.

"There's a lot of blood and sweat put into these missions," said Richard Smith, Chief Quarter Master for the USS Boone.

The servicemen and women held a serve saluting the ship, which was a part of many missions, including a recent drug bust in its most recent deployment.

IMAGES: USS Boone decommissioned

"It's special but also sad when you see a Navy ship when it's decommissioned," Smith said.

The ship became a home away from home for the sailors.

"When you get used to that crew, you sort of gain this camaraderie. It's an amazing feeling to have," said Nicholas Robertson, who has served in the Navy for 11 years.

"The ship is like a sailor, also," Smith said. "The ship takes care of us, and the sailors take care of the ship, so it's respect to make sure the ship is taken care of."

"Once you make it home, the ship's in one piece. You have to be thankful for that," said Alexander Merrell, who has served in the Navy for four years.

There was an apparent attachment between the Navy crew with the ship. They said they are proud to have been a part of the USS Boone's history.

"She's done a lot of work and there's a lot of memories on there," Merrell said. "She's been around for a while and helped us serve our country."

"This is actually my second decommissioning, so it's kind of a bittersweet feeling," Robertson said.

There are two more ships the Navy plans to retire in the near future. On Friday, they'll send off the USS Groves, then in March the USS John L. Hall, which means Mayport is losing the best fleets. It is phasing them out because they are considered to be out-of-date.

The recent budget by the president says the Navy will strategically disperse a three ship amphibious-ready group to Mayport as early as 2015, which means it will be home to more than 2,000 sailors and their families.

Now that the USS Boone is retired, the sailors on the ship are going to join all new crews.