Cape St. George Sailors Shave Heads for Cancer Awareness
USS CAPE ST. GEORGE, At Sea - Sailors aboard Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George shaved their heads, Feb. 18-20, to show support for cancer victims and to raise awareness of the disease.
Quartermaster Seaman James Benson said that he thought the event would be a good way for the crew to demonstrate their recognition of the pain and sacrifices made every day by people afflicted with cancer.
"Right after we got underway, I found out my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer," said Benson. "Ever since then, I had to find a way to support her and thought this was a good idea."
Quartermaster 1st Class Joshua Koenig and Cape St. George Command Master Chief Pete Santos helped Benson organize the event.
"Seaman Benson brought the idea to me in January, and I knew it would be a great thing to be a part of," Santos said. "He's not asking for sympathy. He's just asking for the support his grandmother and others affected by cancer deserve. The least we can do is show a little kindness to help them through this tough time."
Koenig was one of more than 70 Sailors who participated.
"Events like these are priceless," Koenig said. "And it was blast. It gave everyone a chance to let loose and have a good time, and it was a humbling experience to show the less fortunate we care."
Benson said that he never expected a "bald trend" to sweep the ship as more and more Sailors rallied around the cause.
"The turnout was amazing," said Benson. "I thought only a few people would participate, but the turnout was much better than I expected. The fact that so many people would gather to show their support and encouragement not only benefits me, it benefits others."
Cape St. George is deployed as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.