Pacific Ocean - The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) conducted a burial at sea for 22 deceased veterans and family members, June 22.

The Navy began holding burials at sea when they could not properly bury the deceased. They began ceremoniously committing bodies and remains to their final resting place in the sea.

"It's important to remember the service of the people who served in the different branches of the military and also their family members," said Lt. Tung Tran, a chaplain assigned to Peleliu. "They would be pleased to know that we honor the wishes of the dead and their family."

Burials at sea are conducted to render honors to fallen military members, retirees, honorable discharged active duty service members or military dependents. This tradition is a way to show respect to the deceased's dedication and faithful service to our country.

Sailors from a variety of departments participated in the ceremony. Sailors volunteered as casket and cremains bearers for each fallen service member and dependent.

Information Systems Technician 1st Class Chris Rae expressed his gratitude to have the opportunity to play a role in the ceremony.

"It's gives me a sense of pride and honor to pay my respects for a fellow service member," said Rae. "It feels good to repay their service with mine and do something like this, there is a lot of honor here."

Among the volunteers was Command Master Chief Tyron D. Flynn, who participated in the national ensign presentation.

"It's important that the Sailors get the opportunity to see and participate in the burial," said Flynn. "That way they can carry it on and continue to share the tradition with future Sailors."

The crew of Peleliu honored deceased members from the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Army, with a 21-gun salute and piping from the honor boatswain's mate.

Peleliu will participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific, a large multinational Naval exercise, as the command ship for the expeditionary strike group and is scheduled to conduct a follow-on deployment to the 7th fleet area of responsibility.