By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erin Devenberg
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Dec. 17, 2012) – The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington’s (CVN 73) First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) and Family Readiness Group (FRG) co-sponsored a children’s Christmas party at Purdy Gym on board Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Dec. 16.
The annual event was conducted for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier’s Sailors and their families to promote camaraderie and cheer during this holiday season.
“We do a children’s Christmas party each year to provide our Sailors and their families a safe and stress-free atmosphere to socialize and have some fun during the Christmas season,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Marlon Bell, George Washington FCPOA president.
Volunteers from George Washington’s FCPOA and FRG, and other CFAY organizations awoke early to ensure that everything was ready for the three-hour party.
“The [Christmas party] is primarily held by George Washington’s FRG and FCPOA, but we had the support this year of many different organizations here on base,” said Patti Beaver, George Washington FRG social chair. “Between the commissary, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), and U.S. Marine Corps, we were able to make it happen.”
A variety of holiday-themed activities were conducted for the families’ enjoyment, including a Santa hat toss, bubble wrap runway and bouncing castles.
“My son just arrived here from San Diego and he was looking forward to this party and its fun,” said Logistic Specialist 1st Class Jose Gutierrez, from San Diego. “I’m kind of tired from chasing him around on the bubble wrap; he didn’t stop once he found out it was easy and fun.”
George Washington returned to its forward-operating location of CFAY from its 2012 patrol on Nov. 20. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.