Washington, DC - Shipmates, Navy Families, and friends: This weekend we will reflect on our Navy history and core values with great pride. We often hear the words, "Freedom is not free." We preserve our freedoms by supporting and defending, and at times sacrificing our lives for the guarantee of rights, liberties, and pursuit of happiness to every citizen. There is absolutely no greater sacrifice than giving one's life for their country.

Memorial Day also allows us to remember our fallen heroes, our loved ones who served and pay our respects to many shipmates who have donned the uniform of a United States Sailor. You have put service before self. It is because of your selfless contributions that missions are completed, battles are won, and our nation continues to thrive in freedom. From supporting homeland defense and deployments downrange with ground forces to participation in disaster response and months underway on ships, your role in every diverse aspect of our Navy's mission is critical.

I encourage each of you to pause and reflect on those that have given their all in defense of freedom.

Theresa and I would like to give our heartfelt gratitude for your dedication, strength and support.

May God richly bless each of you, our nation, and our Navy.

Very Respectfully,
MCPON