The crew of the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) paid tribute to one of their own on Veterans Day this year, conducting a burial at sea for Master Chief Fire Controlman Mark Dinyar, Nov 11.
Dinyar served on board Mobile Bay from September 2007 until his unexpected passing on April 19, 2014; just six months shy of his scheduled retirement following 30 years of service.
"Burials-at-sea are important because it allows us to respect both the life and the service of our fellow veterans," said Lt. Steve Brown, Mobile Bay's command chaplain. "This burial at sea was an honor to be a part of but also very difficult because this one was for someone we once called our shipmate, mentor, brother and friend; there was no more appropriate day to honor him than Veterans Day."
Many burials at sea are performed for retired veterans who likely did not know the current crew of the ship. Burials at sea are a long standing tradition dating to when the Navy did not have the means for a proper burial so bodies and remains were buried at sea.
Nowadays, the ceremony is a sacred honor requested by the military member, their family, or dependents. This tradition demonstrates honor and commitment to service and their country beyond a military member's life.
Dinyar spent the majority of his career at sea, serving on five different ships, enduring countless underways and deployments, earning the Meritorious Service Medal, five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, nine Good Conduct Medals, and various campaign and unit awards.
It was his request that his remains be scattered upon the very sea that he spent over half his life honorably and courageously protecting.
"Master Chief Dinyar was a mentor to everyone on board Mobile Bay, including me," said Capt. Timothy Kott, Mobile Bay’s commanding officer. “We all miss him very much. It was an honor for our ship to pay respects to him and his family by having his burial at sea on Veterans Day."