By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devon Dow
EAST CHINA SEA – Sailors assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) and the Warlords of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 51 detachment six celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday at sea Nov. 22.
Mustin culinary specialists made the event special preparing a full Thanksgiving feast for their Shipmates including the traditional holiday staples such as turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and assorted desserts and vegetables.
To give the occasion more of a holiday feel, the culinary specialists decorated the mess decks with a cornucopia and other thanksgiving themed decorations.
Earlier in the day, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 Deputy Chaplain Lt. Robert Mills, held an interfaith Thanksgiving service for Sailors.
“Shipmates, I am proud to be out here with each and every one of you during this special holiday,” said Mustin commanding officer, Cmdr. Joseph Ring to the crew. “Today and always, be thankful for your Shipmates, for our family and friends.”
Chief Culinary Specialist (SW) Michael Simpson said he is proud of his team’s performance to make the Thanksgiving meal special for the crew, “they did an outstanding job today plus they prepared and organized an outstanding meal for the crew, I could not be more proud of them,” he said. “The culinary specialists we have onboard are very talented and take a lot of pride in what they do. You could see from the smiles on the faces of the crew that they appreciated the effort put into making this Thanksgiving at sea feel as close to home as possible.”
While the crew wasn’t able to celebrate the holiday with family and friends, they were able to spend it with their Shipmates. For some, this was their first Thanksgiving away from home.
“It’s been really nice today, the food was excellent,” said Aviation Maintenance Administration 2nd Class Veronica Lennox, a Sailor assigned to HSL 51 det. six. “This is my first Thanksgiving spent at sea so this is definitely an experience I will never forget.”
“I enjoy being at sea, while I do miss my family and friends from back home, I have my Mustin and air detachment family out here with me enjoying Thanksgiving,” said Seaman Gary McCoy. “This is my second Thanksgiving at sea and each time I have really enjoyed myself. Like everyone else onboard, I cannot say enough about the food, everything prepared today was good.”
Adding to the Thanksgiving celebration, Mustin and HSL 51 det. six advanced approximately 48 Sailors Nov. 21 following the recent results of the Navy-wide petty officer exams. In the coming days, the new petty officers will go through their respective indoctrination courses which provides leadership training and guidance as they prepare to assume their new rank and responsibilities.
“It’s been a pretty good week for me,” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class (select) Ricardo Rodriguez. “I am sure those who advanced are happy as well and to have this Thanksgiving meal today has added a nice touch to the week.”
Mustin, commanded by Cmdr. Joseph Ring, is currently conducting a routine Western Pacific patrol in support of regional security and stability of the vital Asia-Pacific region.