Posted by: arbeam | December 8, 2013

Keeping the Lights on for those Deployed at Naval Hospital Bremerton

NHB IA Tree lighting

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) — Naval Hospital Bremerton’s staff members came together on Dec. 6 to remember those away from home for the holidays on deployment with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Along with the hanging of ‘Individual Augmentee (IA)’ ornaments by designated sponsors of those currently deployed, the event also gave staff and family members an opportunity to share in a festive, seasonal observation with the sounds of music of the holidays.

“Naval Hospital Bremerton continues to support the fighting force by sending outstanding Sailors out on deployments. Naval Hospital Bremerton would like to extend our greatest sense of gratitude and compassion to you and your families, especially to those of you with absent family members,” said Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Claire Hickman, master of ceremony.

Hickman requested to those in attendance who are facing deployment, know or have someone currently deployed, or have been deployed at any time, to stand and be recognized.

Almost the entire crowd – active duty and civilian staff, family members – rose as one.

“It’s always hard enough to be deployed, especially as an Individual Augmentee when we go alone. It’s really hard to be deployed over the holidays. We do a good job to remember those overseas and events like this help support them and our families who miss them. Our Tree Lighting Ceremony will give us a visual reminder every day of those deployed. We will keep them in our minds until they are home, safe and sound,” said Capt. Christopher Quarles, NHB Commanding Officer.

As the names of the 20 forward deployed NHB staff members – all but one currently assigned down range supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan – were formally read, either a visiting family member or co-worker stepped forth to place an IA ornament on the tree in their remembrance and honor.

Trisha Jantzi of NHB’s Family Medicine department took part in the ornament hanging in honor of Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kayla Blum. “I was asked and was more than happy to take part on her behalf. I keep in constant contact with Kayla. When I told her what was going on, she said that’s great and thanked me,” related Jantzi.

Along with Blum, deployers remembered were Cmdr. Kenneth Sausen, Cmdr. Richard Lawrence, Lt. Cmdr. Steven Sarro, Lt. Cmdr. Phillip Hanson, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Woo, Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Miller, Lt. Cmdr. Marc Silfies, Lt. Derek Olson, Lt. Isaac Hurley, Lt. Nathan Lee, Lt. Rio Corpuzmoss, Lt. Evan Romrell, Lt. Louis Sanchez, Lt. j.g. Justine Cisterino, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Benjamin Chapin, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Patrick Barrantes, , HM3 Alexander Zeisberg, HM3 Nathan Nicholson, and HM3 Derek Kuzniar.

Hanging an ornament for Olsen was Lt. Clark Hartley. “I was honored to volunteer. Whatever needs to be done, that’s what we do,” said Hartley.

Providing musical accompaniment for the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony was Navy Band Northwest Quintet of Ian Wheeler and Zach Conway on trumpet; Andrea Smith and Ben Dixon on Trombone and Collin Moos on tuba.

“As we unite around this beautiful tree let, us rejoice over those who have returned home safely, pray for those who are currently deployed, and remember the sacrifice of all those who have served,” Hickman said.

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

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