From the left, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
Council President Rudy Oetting
stands with Spruance Division Sea
Cadet Petty Officer 2nd Class Orion
Rollins, Cadet Petty Officer 2nd
Class Delaney Brock and commanding officer Lt. Cmdr. Alan Starr after
Rollins and Brock received their
Theodore Roosevelt Youth Medals
during the council’s Sea Cadet Night
dinner Sept. 22.
and especially the hard working
young future leaders of our country and their dedicated parents,”
During the last decade, more
than 50 Spruance Division graduates have gone to college or service
in the military — including nine to
the U.S. Naval Academy (two of
whom are there now), three to the
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
and two to Norwich University.
Tampa Council Joins
To Honor Chaplain
The Tampa, Fla., Council joined
with Project Gratitude to recognize
and honor Navy chaplain Lt. John J.
Eastman and his family during a
pre-holiday reception at the Marriott
Courtyard in Temple Terrace.
Eastman was presented with
official proclamations of appreciation from Mayor Joe Affronti;
Councilman Ken Holloway of
Temple Terrace; and representatives from the offices of U.S. Sen.
Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep.
Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla; Mike
Pendergrast of the Temple Terrace
Chamber of Commerce; and the
Sun Coast Chapter of the Military
Officers Association of America.
Skip Witunski and Bob Downey represented the Navy League
and presented Eastman and his
family with a $50 gift card for
Outback restaurant and a $50 gas
card to use while they were visiting
Eastman recounted his deployment as Battalion Chaplain with
2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marines
in Afghanistan during the event. His
reflections on the loss of Marines
and being under fire in a mine field
drove home the reality that the
chaplains share the same risks that
grunts do and help them deal with
the loss and anxiety of combat, said
Tampa Council President Christopher Paddock.
The Ohio-based Project Gratitude was founded by former Navy
Chaplain David Lefavor while he
was serving as staff chaplain for
the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa. He, along with others in the Tampa political and
business community, made it possible for chaplains from all services returning from deployments in
Iraq and Afghanistan and their
families to come to Central Florida
and spend a few complimentary
days visiting local attractions,
unwinding and reconnecting away
from the cares and stress of their
recent assignments, Paddock said.
Eastman served in the Air Force
from 1986 to 1989 and, after completing Divinity School, joined the
Navy in 2005. He was accompanied
in Tampa by his wife, Barbara, and
daughter, Anastasia. His son
Jimmy is in college and was unable
to attend. Eastman was the first
Navy chaplain to enjoy Project
Gratitude’s hospitality. The Tampa
Council was proud to be part of
this opportunity to honor a sea service hero, said Paddock, and
looked forward to the next opportunity to do likewise.
The Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula,
Wash., Council hosted an adoption
ceremony for the Los Angeles-class
submarine USS Bremerton Jan. 11 at
Norm Dicks Conference Center.
Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent
hosted the ceremony. Guest speaker
was U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash.
“Tonight’s celebration commemorates the official adoption of USS
Bremerton and her crew by
Bremerton-Olympic,” Dicks said in
a Navy News Service report. “This is
a proud day of the city of Bremerton
and its citizens.
”I am thankful that the
Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Navy League has demonstrated support for the crew and its
namesake submarine. This partnership is a testament to the patriotism
of every Navy League member as
shining examples of how much this
community supports service members and their families.”
Cmdr. Caleb Kerr, Bremerton’s
commanding officer, and his wife,
Hillary, flew in from Pearl Harbor,
Hawaii, where the boat is home-ported, to attend the ceremony and
sign the official adoption papers
with Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula
The adoption grew from
Bremerton’s goodwill visit to the area in
August 2009. The crew was taken to
a Seattle Mariners baseball game
“and everybody in Bremerton just
kicked in and showed those guys a
good time,” Council President Gary
Gunderson told the Kitsap Sun.
Harris Speaks in
Palma de Mallorca
Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., com-
mander, U.S. Sixth Fleet/Striking and
Support Forces NATO; Joint Force
Maritime Component commander,
Europe; and deputy commander,
U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa, vis-
ited Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Nov.
17 where he met with members of