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MAY 25, 2014

VOL 5 ISSUE 15

First Last and

Underway In this issue: Memorial Day


First Last

LSCM(SW/AW) Jimmy Cubillo

Time in Navy: 30 Years

and

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Q: What was your favorite duty station? A: The USS Missouri (BB-63). I started as E-1, deck seaman and made Storekeeper 2nd Class. I spent five years of sea duty there.

Q: What’s been the most significant change? A: I would say the technology in communications. Back in the old days, we were using MARS (Military Affiliate Radio System) to communicate with loved ones, while at sea. It was a one-way band radio where you have to say “over” when you’re done talking to give the person you’re talking to the signal that’s it her/his turn to talk. Today, we have all kinds of advanced technology to communicate; on board we have access to AT&T Sailor phones, Facebook, GMail, VTC, email, etc.

Q: What qualification was the hardest to get? A: My ESWS was a challenge for me because I started late. I didn’t really make time to get qualified when I was a petty officer. Q: What have you done that you didn’t know you could do? A: A lot, but finishing 30 years in service is something that I didn’t know that I could do. Q: What do you hope your Sailors remember about what you have taught them? A: I hope they remember me as a mentor and part of their success in their Naval career.

Q: How do deployments compare? A: With 16+ years of sea time and 7 deployments, some things have changed slightly, like liberty ports and liberty policies, but long deployments have been the norm for awhile. My longest deployment was nine months and 14 days on board USS Peleliu after 9/11. We spent 139 days consecutively out to sea, which included three beer days.

Q: What was the hardest thing you have had to go through while serving in the military? A: Family separation during deployments was always my challenge. It’s hard to leave your loved ones, especially your wife with three kids ages 2, 4, and 6. But I made it through by balancing my activities while underway, keeping in touch with them and giving some time to myself when liberty came around.

Q: What will you miss the most? A: I will miss the time spent with my Shipmates, from watching movies, playing cards, playing volleyball in the hangar bay and the camaraderie with everyone. The Navy is the biggest family you will have while away from home. But the best of all is the meal the CS’s serve three times a day. They never missed a meal; I am very thankful for that. You have to appreciate things around you.

Q: How did you stay connected to family over the years? A: I used all possible means of communications to stay in touch with my family, from snail mail, MARS, INMARSAT, POTS line, email, and Facebook. I recommend that everyone make time to communicate with your family while underway. This will keep your relationship open and intact while you’re gone for months.

Q: How have Sailors changed? A: Sailors have not changed much; it’s the Navy’s policies that have changed. These changes are intended to keep us safe, i.e. the liberty policies and DUI policies. They make us more accountable for actions and remind us to be better representatives and ambassadors of our country while visiting foreign ports.

Q: What’s your plan after retirement? A: I would change the term ‘retirement’ to ‘transition’. I will be transitioning to the civilian workforce after my Naval career.

Q: How many uniform changes have you gone through? A: Dungarees, Coverall, Service Uniform, FRV, four maybe.

Q: Will you be following America’s Favorite Carrier on Facebook? A: Yes, I am already a follower of America’s Favorite Carrier on FB. Q: Can you remember any of your Eleven General Orders of a Sentry? A: General Order number seven – To talk to no one except in the line of duty.


Underway Q: What do you remember about your first ship? A: My first ship was the BB-63. I am a plank owner and was part of the re-commissioning crew. That ship was the most historic battleship during that time. The three gun turrets with 16-inch guns were the center of attraction. She served in World War II and the Japanese Imperial Navy. The Declaration of Surrender was signed on board that ship. Q: What’s the funniest eval bullet you’ve seen? A: When I sat on the E-7 board I remember something like “As the urinalysis coordinator, he has tasted (instead of tested) and sampled over 500 specimens with zero discrepancies and 100 percent program compliance.” Q: What Navy program has impacted you the most? A: The physical readiness test – it has kept me in shape and physically healthy for the last 30 years, which is something you need in your career and the most important, in your life. Q: Where did you go on your first port call and what do you remember about it? A: First deployment was a three-month aroundthe-world cruise on board USS Missouri. Our first overseas port call was Panama in 1987. We did what Sailors do during that time which was bar hopping. My first U.S. port visit was San Francisco in 1986. I enjoyed the visit and made time to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Q: What was your favorite port call and why? A: Olongapo, Subic Bay. I was able to go home and spend time with family. My second most favorite port visit was Vatican City, Rome. I enjoyed the city tour. I learned the history behind the Coliseum, Vatican Church and Trevi Fountain . Q: Why did you join the Navy? A: Honestly, it was an opportunity for me to leave my home country. I was sure that I would have a better future and better life when I enlisted. Q: Which Navy aircraft is your favorite and why? A: I have to admit, I love them all. Q: What size ship did you prefer to serve on? A: LHA/LHD or CV/CVN class.

Q: Have you served overseas and if so, how did you like it? A: Yes, I was on board USS Independence (CV 62) in Yokosuka, Japan from 1992-1997. Being overseas is a very challenging billet. We were out at sea nine out of 12 months and deployed every year. Good thing is, we were able to hit some good liberty ports such as Korea, the Philippines, Hong-Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia. Q: Were you ever TAD outside of your parent department and if so, what did you do? What do you remember about it? A: I was sent TAD twice as an food service assistant on my first sea tour. The ship’s supply officer personally requested me back on FSA duty. As I remember, the ship was going on deployment and they wanted someone that had experience to serve as an FSA in the wardroom. So I went back without hesitation. I learned that the supply department, especially wardroom MS’s, appreciated the service I did for them. That’s why they asked for my service again. So, I went back, but this time I used it to my advantage. While FSA’ing I informed the SUPPO that I wanted to strike SK. He replied “Seaman Cubillo, I am pleased that you want to become part of my Supply Department”. Q: Would you do anything in your career differently? A: Yes, I would spend more time studying toward a college degree so that I would have more opportunities transitioning to the civilian work force. Q: Who was your most memorable supervisor and subordinate – why? What stood out? A: My first Chief Petty Officer, SKC Tauilili. He taught how to be a good storekeeper and a better Sailor. I remember our first formal conversation. It went like this: “Good morning Chief, can I have a minute of your time?” He said, “Have you talked to your first classes?” My answer was no. He responded “Go talk to your LPO first.” I said, “Yes Chief, and thank you, Chief. May I go now?” This is something that we don’t see in our Navy now. B: Subordinate, I would say CWO2 Capati. He was my SK2 on board USS Peleliu and my LSCS at our last shore duty at CNAF. He is a hardworking individual you can depend on. He is actually serving on board as the S-6 division officer. What is your favorite uniform? A: Liberty attire.

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ABCM(AW/SW) Marc Bill

Time in Navy: 30 Years

Q: What have you done that you didn’t know you could do? A: I jumped into the personnel world at AIRPAC and I excelled at it. First I was assigning IA’s on the East Coast then I was a manning manager for three aircraft carriers and shore facilities all over the world.

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Q: What’s been the most significant change? A: When I enlisted we were an all male force. I want to say that women started joining aircraft carriers around 1991. It was a culture shock. We have obviously overcome the shock and are a very effective fighting team today. Q: How do deployments compare? A: The ports we hit on deployment have been pretty standard at least for aircraft carriers since 1984, with one notable exception: the Philippines went away for a number of years. However, it is making a comeback as the U.S. is moving more toward the Pacific.

Q: What do you hope your Sailors remember about what you have taught them? A: Never suffer in silence. Let your chain of command help with your small problems before they become huge problems. There isn’t a single thing on this planet that can’t be worked out and no one has to take a drastic step and hurt themselves or their family. Q: What was the hardest thing you have had to go through while serving in the military? A: Missing the birth of my son while I was deployed in 2000. I met him when he was four months old. Q: How did you stay connected to family over the years? A: In the early years it was snail mail, followed by MARSAT radio calls, then phone cards and finally e-mail, and now Facebook.

Q: What will you miss the most? A: The day-to-day interactions with Sailors at sea – there is no comparison.

Q: What’s your plan after retirement? A: To find a job that I will enjoy half as much as being in the Navy.

Q: How have Sailors changed? A: The Sailors today are savvier when it comes to what they want from the Navy. When I joined we were here to serve our country and do whatever it took to accomplish that. Today’s Sailors have their eyes on education benefits, travel, officer programs and much more personal development for life after the Navy.

Q: Will you be following America’s Favorite Carrier on Facebook? A: Absolutely.

Q: How many uniform changes have you gone through? A: How many MCPON’s have I had? It seems each one has a new sea bag item or two.

Q: What do you remember about your first ship? A: That’s easy, I’m on it now.

Q: What was your favorite rank and why? A: Pinning on the rank of Master Chief. I finally got the nod from my peers that I was good enough to reach this pinnacle of my career. Q; What was your favorite duty station? A: I have been extremely lucky with my duty stations. Whichever one I am at when asked is my favorite. I have not had a bad tour in 30 years; they have been unique and varied. Q: What qualification was the hardest to get? A: It took me 20 years to get my two-year college degree.

Q: Can you remember any of your Eleven General Orders of a Sentry? A: To never quit my post until properly relieved, number 5.

Q: Who is your Navy hero? A: Every Sailor that has donned the uniform and honorably fulfilled their duties. Q: What Navy program has impacted you the most? A: Early retention boards, continuation boards and perform to serve – anything that has sent Sailors home prior to them finishing what they started. Some people come in and realize the Navy is not their cup of tea, okay that’s fine, do your time and go. The good ones that are forced out usually take the experience that we need with them; those are the ones who cause me the most concern. The Navy doesn’t downsize with a scalpel; we use a sledgehammer then pick up the


pieces and move forward.

Q: What was your favorite port call and why? A: Hobart, Tasmania. It’s Australia with friendly in overdrive. Spectacular people and places to see. Q: Why did you join the Navy? A: I joined for the chance to serve my country and carry on the family tradition. I am a third generation Sailor. My grandfather delivered the gas to Tinnian for the Enola Gay and my father was on the cruiser Tuscon. Q; Which Navy aircraft is your favorite and why? A: The F-14 Tomcat. That was an awesome airplane. The Harley Davidson of fighters. If it wasn’t leaking, it wasn’t right. Q: What size ship did you prefer to serve on? A: The only size, aircraft carriers.

Q: What is your favorite uniform? A: Flight deck jersey, khaki pants and brown boots.

Q: What was the most rewarding part of boot camp? A. Graduation day. Q: What A-school did you attend? A. I went to Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) A-school in Pensacola, Florida. Q: When did you report to the ship? A. May 1. Q: What is your favorite part/characteristic of the ship? A. Arresting gear engine is pretty interesting and cool…how it all works. That’s why I would say it is my favorite. Q: If you could change one thing about the ship what would it be? A. The workload in the Air Department (V-2). I think we need to split the shift so the hardworking Sailors can get more of the rest they deserve. I feel like we have enough people in my rate to accomplish this task, and I understand it would take awhile to qualify us new check-ins. But I know it can be done with the right guidance and push. Q: What is the best part of your job? A. Being on the flight deck. Q; Who is your mentor? A. ABE2 Daniel Ofuka. Q: What rate is your favorite? A. Aviation rates, especially pilots. Q: Do you plan to make the Navy a career? A. I’m not sure yet. I would like to but it depends on these next couple of years and where I feel the Lord wants to lead me.

Time in Navy: 8 Months

Q: Who was your most memorable supervisor and subordinate – why? What stood out? A: My first LPO, now retired, ABCM Booker Sanders. He showed me the ropes on how to be technically savvy, fair when dealing with people and still be firm in principle. Favorite subordinate, I don’t have one. I relish the opportunity to train my relief, so I guess watching all of them climb the ladders of success would be my favorite.

Q: Is there a family history of military service? A. I am the first to join the military.

ABEAN Stefan Wolfe

Q: Where did you go on your first port call and what do you remember about it? A: Philippine Islands in 1985 and the cardinal rule was break your BBQ stick before you tossed it or it would get used again.

Q: Why did you join the Navy? A. To see the world, make new friends and make my family proud.

Q: What will you miss the most on the upcoming deployment? A. My family, good southern food and of course sweet tea. Q: What port are you looking forward to? A. Hawaii. Q: What do you hope to accomplish during the deployment? A. To make Petty Officer 3rd Class.

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CMDCM(AW/SW) David Steo

Time in Navy: 23 Years

Q: What have you done that you didn’t know you could do? A: I never thought I would make Master Chief Petty Officer, being ranked in the top 1% of the enlisted ranks is an amazing achievement and I never could have done it if I hadn’t worked with some great Sailors throughout the years.

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Q: What’s been the most significant change? A: Since I joined the Navy in 1988, so many things have changed. Women on ships, email/ internet at sea, oh and I can’t forget Starbucks at sea. Q: How do deployments compare? A: Ship’s mail- it used to take weeks to get a letter, if you had a misunderstanding through the mail, it would take 3 weeks to get a letter each way. You’d have to number your letters, so you opened them in the correct order? Have you ever waited 3 months for a care package to arrive? I have… Q: What will you miss the most? A: The flight deck, the views, the workouts in the hangar bay, the time spent talking to the Sailors around the ship (they are truly amazing people), Oh and I can’t forget my red jersey. Q: How have Sailors changed? A: They’ve become smarter, more technically advanced and are more about thinking a process through, than just jumping in and doing it. Q: How many uniform changes have you gone through? A: Good Question…let’s just say A LOT. Q: What was your favorite rank and why? A: That’s an easy question…E-1 through E-9! I have enjoyed my entire career at every rank. From being stationed in Fallon, Nevada (twice) to being the CMC of Naval Station Great Lakes, to the CMC of HSM-73. I have had a blast and hope that I have made a difference in the lives of my Sailors at every rank. Q: What was your favorite duty station? A: USS Nimitz (CVN-68). Q: What qualification was the hardest to get? A: Recruit Division Commander, it was “NO JOKE” one of the toughest schools I have ever had to go through, both mentally and physically.

Q: What do you hope your Sailors remember about what you have taught them? A: Sailors are very smart people. I hope that my Sailors remember me for making them think about the things they sometimes forget about. Our Sailors need to always be thinking about their future and what they can do now to be successful in the future. Q: What was the hardest thing you have had to go through while serving in the military? A: The weeks and months away from my loved ones, luckily I had a great Navy family to keep me motivated and focused. Q: How did you stay connected to family over the years? A: I’ve spent so much money on phone cards over the years, I could have bought a new car. Q: What’s your plan after retirement? A: I’m going to relax and enjoy spending time with my family. I will truly miss spending time with my Navy family though. Q: Will you be following America’s Favorite Carrier on Facebook? A: I’m sure I’ll be checking up on the fine Sailors of USS Carl Vinson. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Q: Can you remember any of your Eleven General Orders of a Sentry? A: Most of them… I was an RDC. Q: What do you remember about your first ship? A: My first ship was the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), I took a COD ride out and met the ship on deployment which was 8 months long during Desert Shield/Storm, it was one of the hardest times in my life and I wouldn’t change a second of it. Q: What Navy program has impacted you the most? A: The Command Senior Chief Program. Q: Where did you go on your first port call and what do you remember about it? A: Rhodes, Greece. It was AWESOME…beautiful beaches. Q: What was your favorite port call and why? A: Phuket, Thailand. Because the scuba diving is amazing and there is always something new to see or do.


Q: Which Navy aircraft is your favorite and why? A: F-4...it was a bad-ass aircraft. Q: What size ship did you prefer to serve on? A: I’ve only been on aircraft carriers and an LHD and BY FAR, aircraft carrier is the way to go. Q: Were you ever TAD outside of your parent department and if so, what did you do? What do you remember about it? A: Yes, and I have worked for 20 years to forget it… Thanks for asking this question. Ha ha. Q: Would you do anything in your career differently? A: I’m pretty happy where my career has taken me, being an AO has been amazing, I loved my job, had the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Being a Command Master Chief in the strongest naval force in the world has been unforgettable, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor Sailors every day and help them understand that the Navy is so much more than just a job. No I wouldn’t change a thing! Q: Who was your most memorable supervisor and subordinate – why? What stood out? A: My most memorable supervisor would have to be ASC Fred Bell. I worked for him when I was an Airman in Fallon, Nevada. He was a Great Chief, kind of a hard ass, but fair and reasonable and treated everyone equally. I met and married his daughter when I was an E-5, after he had retired of course...he’s still a great guy.

Q: Is there a family history of military service? A: There is no family history of military service in my family. I’m the first. Q: What was the most rewarding part of boot camp? A: The most rewarding part of boot camp was being able to graduate with the division I started with. Q: What A-school did you attend? A: I attended Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks (PACT) Airman “A” School in Pensacola, Florida. Q: When did you report to the ship? A: I reported to HSC-15 March 13 of this year and embarked the ship May 9. Q: What is your favorite part/characteristic of the ship? A: The fact that the ship is like a big maze. I try not to get lost. Q: If you could change one thing about the ship what would it be? A: The only thing I would change about the ship is the amount of people on it. Q: What is the best part of your job? A: Watching helicopters take off is the best part of my job. Q: What rate is your favorite? A: Aviation Maintenance Administrationman (AZ) is my favorite rate. I get to see the aviation side of things and the office side. Q.Who is your mentor? A. AZC Amanda Hackford. Q: Do you plan to make the Navy a career? A: I am not sure if I’m going to make this a career yet. I want to see how the next couple of years go. Q: What will you miss the most on the upcoming deployment? A: Besides missing my family, I think I’m really going to miss some of my favorite foods.

Time in Navy: 7 Months

Q: What is your favorite uniform? A: By far the original Dungarees. They were comfortable, stood up to almost any kind of work and you could use them to save your life in the ocean if you happened to find yourself in a bad situation.

Q: Why did you join the Navy? A: I joined the Navy to serve my country and to get an education.

AN Alexandra Quintero

Q: Why did you join the Navy? A: Much like a lot of the people that join the Navy, I joined to get away from a potentially bad situation. Being in the Navy hasn’t always been easy, but the Navy has definitely been good to my family and me.

Q: What port are you looking forward to? A: I’m not use if it is on the list but I would love to visit Greece. Q: What do you hope to accomplish during the deployment? A: I hope to accomplish all of my qualifications that I need and to learn everything I can about my job, our aircraft and the ship.

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CMDCM(AW/SW) Domingo Soto

Time in Navy: 30 Years

Q: What’s your plan after retirement? A: To spend quality time with my family and travel with my beautiful wife.

PG 8

Q: Will you be following America’s Favorite Carrier on Facebook? A: NO, I’m not a Facebook person. Q: Can you remember any of your Eleven General Orders of a Sentry? A: Yes, most of them.

Q: What’s been the most significant change? A: Women at sea and on ships.

Q: What do you remember about your first ship? A: We had a good crew, great camaraderie and lots of time off because the ship was in the yards in Bremerton, Washington.

Q: How do deployments compare? A: Less port visits and more time at sea.

Q: What’s the funniest eval bullet you’ve seen? A: This Sailor walks on water and parts the Red Sea.

Q: What will you miss the most? A: Interacting with Sailors and the camaraderie in the CPO Mess.

Q: Who is your Navy hero? A: I don’t have a hero, I have many heroes. Every Sailor is my hero because they are serving their country with honor!

Q: How have Sailors changed? A: Sailors are smarter and more savvy with new technology. Q: How many uniform changes have you gone through? A: Too many to count. Q: What was your favorite rank and why? A: Second Class Petty Officer, because I was always on the deckplates working alongside my Sailors. Q: What was your favorite duty station? A: USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6). Q: What qualification was the hardest to get? A: Officer of the Deck (underway). Q: What have you done that you didn’t know you could do? A: Stay in the Navy this long. Q: What do you hope your Sailors remember about what you have taught them? A: How to use their resources to take care of themselves and their Sailors. Q: What was the hardest thing you have had to go through while serving in the military? A: Being separated from my wife and four kids and being a geographical bachelor. Q: How did you stay connected to family over the years? A: My first years in the Navy we had no email or POTS lines, so letters was the only way.

Q: Where did you go on your first port call and what do you remember about it? A: Perth, Australia and it was awesome meeting new people from a country I have never visited before. Q: What was your favorite port call and why? A: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Q: Why did you join the Navy? A: To travel and see the world and better myself. Q: Which Navy ship is your favorite and why? A: USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), we had a great crew who responded well when we were tasked to get underway and go to 5th Fleet as the Harrier carrier after 9/11. Q: Have you served overseas and if so, how did you like it? A: I was stationed in Atsugi, Japan and I had a great time seeing the country. Q: Would you do anything in your career differently? A: Yes, I would go overseas at an early stage of my career. Q: Who was your most memorable supervisor and subordinate – why? What stood out? A: My most memorable supervisor was BM2 Shoblem because he took me under his wing and taught me how to be good Boatswain’s Mate. Subordinate was SN Robles who is now a retired MA1. We have always stayed in touch and called me when he needed sound advice. Q: What is your favorite uniform? A: Khakis.


Q: If you could change one thing about the ship what would it be? A: I would position the treadmills in an area that didn’t require me to hit my head on the ceiling to run on them.

Q: Why did you join the Navy? A: I’ve been thinking about joining the Navy for awhile. I’ve worked all types of jobs over the years, searching for what I wanted to do with my life, but none of them seemed right. I wanted to do something meaningful with my life and be proud of what I was doing but I wasn’t sure what that was, so I joined the Navy in pursuit of that dream. Q: Is there a family history of military service? A: My older brother served in the Army as an MP (military police).

Q:What A-school did you attend? A: NATTC Pensacola, Florida Q: When did you report to the ship? A: May 7. Q: What is your favorite part/characteristic of the ship? A: That would be a difficult question to answer. I can’t really say I’ve enjoyed much about the ship

Q: What rate is your favorite? A: I’m not sure, hopefully whichever rate I decide to strike. Q: Do you plan to make the Navy a career? A: I’d really like to but I’m not really sure yet if I can see myself doing this, years from now. Then again, I’m not really sure what else I’d rather be doing. Q: What will you miss the most on the upcoming deployment? A: My bed. I don’t fit in these ones. Q: What port are you looking forward to? A: Any port will do. I want to see as much of the world as I can.

Time in Navy: 5 Months

Q:What was the most rewarding part of boot camp? A: Losing weight and getting back in shape.

Q: What is the best part of your job? A: I joined the Navy not really having a clear idea of what job I wanted to pursue. I joined as an undesignated Airman. I am currently working as an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) and still unsure of what job to pursue, but I suppose the best part of being undesignated is that I’m not locked into something I don’t want to do.

AN Michael May

so far because I am an individual who is 6’6” tall and everything on this ship is so tiny. I bump my head a lot. The ship and I aren’t really on speaking terms at the moment.

PG 9


Time in Navy: 10 Months

AZAA Jade Bautista PG 10

Q: Why did you join the Navy? A: I joined the Navy to travel the world and make a better future for myself. Q: Is there a family history of military service? A: I have four older brothers that joined the Navy. Q: What was the most rewarding part of boot camp? A: Graduation day was extremely rewarding. Q: What A-school did you attend? A: I attended AZ A-school in Meridian, Mississippi. Q: When did you report to the ship? A: I reported to the ship May 8. Q: What is your favorite part/characteristic of the ship? A: The fact that there is an open gym 24/7. Q: If you could change one thing about the ship what would it be? A: I would require the ship to be much cleaner. Q: What is the best part of your job? A: I get to work with a group of awesome people. Q: What rate is your favorite? A: AZ of course. Q: Who is your mentor and why? A: My parents are my mentors. They have always pointed me in the right direction. Q: Do you plan to make the Navy a career? A: I’m not sure but I’m seriously considering it. Q: What will you miss the most on the upcoming deployment? A: All of my friends and family. Q: What port are you looking forward to? A: I’m looking forward to each and every port we hit. Q: What do you hope to accomplish during the deployment? A: To meet my physical goals and to get my ESWS.

Chaplain’s Corner

by Lt Cmdr. Charles E. Varsogea, CHC, USN

I

t is our solemn duty as Americans to honor the fallen on Memorial Day, to lower the colors until noon, and to thank God for men and women willing to sacrifice their lives for the rest of us. It is our particular privilege as service members to render that honor from within the small circle of those who have sworn to make the very same sacrifice. The men and women upon whose graves those little flags fly were no different than we are. They complained about their food. They grumbled at the bureaucracy. They made fun of the quirkiness of military life. They also took their work seriously and stood behind their vow to defend the Constitution with their very lives. In the moment of crisis, when the choice was between life and duty, they chose duty over life. We live the same life. We’ve made the same vow. Our GQ drills are virtually indistinguishable from those conducted in these same waters almost 100 years ago. Our vows are identical to those made by each young person carried home with reverence from service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Some of us have already been through the life-and-death crisis, chose duty, and had our lives spared. Others of us are still steeling ourselves for that moment. Like those who fulfilled the vow with the last of their breath, the last of their strength and all of their might, we must fulfill our vow each day. Every day, every watch, every liberty call, we must choose to do our duty. We have sworn our lives in the service of freedom and of one another. It is not only in the pitch of battle that we are called to duty, but in the crush of life. May our inconveniences pale in the light of our promised sacrifice and may our gratitude at being still alive overwhelm our pettiness. Let the particular honor we render the fallen be the honor with which we live their lives.


Blood of A Hero Never Dies by MCSN James P. Bleyle

“And now the Torch and Poppy Red We wear in honor of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought.” Both title and stanza above excerpted from “We Shall Keep the Faith” by Moina Michael

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emorial Day is the day we remember service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Celebrated on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day has roots that stretch back to the American Civil War. The Civil war cost America dearly, taking the lives of more than 600,000 Americans and giving new significance to burying and memorializing the dead. Some of the first people to hold the solemn vigil of remembrance were grieving widows during the war. They placed flowers on the graves of their fallen husbands, as was an ancient custom to honor the dead. What was started by grieving wives became a formal event over time, and in 1865, America began creating national military cemeteries for those that died in the war. The first massively public Memorial Day observance, albeit unofficial, took place in Charleston, S.C., in 1865. During the American Civil War, at least 257 Union prisoners of war in custody at Charleston died and were buried in unmarked graves. In 1865, thousands of newly-freed slaves gathered to clean up their burial grounds and to commemorate the

dead by laying flowers on the burial field. On May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, a Union Civil War veterans leader, called for a nationwide observance of “Decoration Day” every year on May 30. The date was chosen as the best date for blooming flowers. In 1882, the name changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day. In 1915, a poet named Moina Michael started wearing red poppies on her clothing as a way to honor those that died in service of their country after writing a poem entitled “We Shall Keep the Faith”. Michael would go on to sell poppies to her friends and coworkers, donating the proceeds to service members in need. In 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization took up the tradition and became the first veteran’s association to sell poppies, thus cementing the act of wearing poppies as Decoration Day tradition. Memorial Day was moved from its traditional day of May 30 to the last Monday in May when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1971, which moved four holidays to specific Mondays in order to create three-day weekends for government employees. Today, the VFW runs the “Buddy” Poppy program, which sells artificial poppies made by disabled veterans and donates the proceeds to helping veterans in need. This Memorial Day, Sailors are encouraged to reflect on the sacrifices of Americans who gave their lives in defense of freedom and democracy throughout our history.

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AZ2(AW) Benjamin Holmes

“A BABOON GOGGLE, THEY JUST GOT IT WRONG”

“A BAIT TO LURE DOLPHINS”

MMFA Danielle Sherman

AOAN Micah Morris

“A GIANT MESS”

“A PROJECT THAT’S A WASTE OF TIME”

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AOAN Daneeca Collins

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“A SITUATION ON A RYE”

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PUBLISHER

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LCDR KYLE RAINES Public Affairs Officer

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EXECUTIVE EDITORS

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CAPT KENT WHALEN Commanding Officer

LTJG TREVOR DAVIDS Assistant Public Affairs Officer

AT2 Rita-Marie Dixon

ENSIGN Marcus Lee

“A SWITCH”

“AN ANCHOR”

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF MCCS(SW/AW) MONICA HOPPER Media Leading Chief Petty Officer

MEDIA DEPARTMENT

MCC(AW/SW/EXW) DAVID CRAWFORD

Media Operations Leading Chief Petty Officer

JUNIOR EDITORS

NOW PLAYING CARL VINSON CINEMA

EM3 Jordan Kennedy

AO3(AW) Jake Bonifacio

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PG-PG13

PG13-R

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SUNDAY

MC1(SW/AW) RYAN TABIOS MC2(SW/AW) TRAVIS ALSTON

GRAPHICS/LAYOUT

MC2 MICHAEL H. LEE MCSN CODY HOWELL MCSN JACOB G. KAUCHER

STAFF WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS

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