This Friday the Navy will celebrate its 242nd birthday. Like many of our own “off-year” birthdays, few people outside of the immediate family take time to mark the occasion. Please reconsider.
While many of us will spend this week enjoying the baseball playoffs, watching football or taking in the changing colors of Fall, an important group of young Americans will be far from the comforts of home. They will spend the weekend doing what Sailors have done for the last 242 years–helping to keep the United States safe and protecting American interests around the world.
Sometimes lost in headlines and commentary about mishaps at sea or on-going policy reviews is the awe inspiring work these men and women do day in and day out. From the Sailors conducting relief missions in the Caribbean, ships and aircraft beating back extremists in Syria and Iraq, to the units conducting missile defense off South Korea and Japan, the young Americans in your Navy are getting it done in a big way.
And so amidst the curveballs, kickoffs and color changes, please take a few minutes this week to think about these Sailors. Help celebrate the legacy of service and sacrifice to their fellow Americans that has gone for the last two and a half centuries. Don’t let their hard work go unrecognized, even if it’s only by a momentary smile or internal positive thought.
I am incredibly proud of the tens of thousands of Sailors standing the watch around the world this week…and hopefully you are too.