Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Karen Blankenship
Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs
SOUTH CHINA SEA – Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) are going pink and helping to raise awareness for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
Sailors had the opportunity to purchase pink T-shirts and can wear them all month as a part of their uniforms to show their support for breast cancer awareness.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985 and is an annual campaign to raise awareness, share information about the disease and provide greater access to services and resources.
“Awareness is the key to prevention and early detection of breast cancer,” said Lt. Krystal Martin, the medical administration officer and the health promotion coordinator aboard Bonhomme Richard. “If people are aware of the symptoms and procedures to detect breast cancer then it is more likely for an individual to fight and beat cancer.”
According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, more than 40,000 people die each year from breast cancer and this year there will be an estimated 228,000 new cases of breast cancer in the United States, 2,100 of which will be men.
“It is a month dedicated to those who have passed due to breast cancer and to those who are currently fighting the battle,” said Martin. “It’s a month in which we can celebrate life and those who have beaten breast cancer.”
The proceeds raised will be donated to the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure for research into the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
“We as American service men and women are always fighting for a cause,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Raymond Meyers. “As a corpsman, I believe in providing the best care for those who defend our freedom and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care.”
Studies have shown that women can reduce their risk of getting breast cancer by eating healthy, exercising, limiting the use of alcohol, having children, breast feeding and discontinuing the use of oral contraceptives.
“I’m sure that there isn’t anyone onboard that isn’t affected by breast cancer or cancer in general,” said Meyers. “I have a sister-in-law who was in the Navy and is a breast cancer survivor. I wear my shirt in support of her.”
Bonhomme Richard, commanded by Capt. Daniel Dusek, is the lead ship of the only forward-deployed amphibious ready group and is currently operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.