On July 4th, SPRUANCE Sailors were in three different counties ushering in America’s 235th birthday in true Navy fashion. Celebrations in Bath, ME, Winslow, ME, and the Boston Red Sox game asked for SPRUANCE volunteers, and SPRUANCE’s support exceeded their expectations. Over fifty crewmembers travelled to parades and a baseball game in order to pay homage to America’s Fourth of July tradition.
At the Boston Red Sox versus the Toronto Blue Jays game, seven SPRUANCE Color Guard Members marched in front of 37,000 fans at Fenway Park and presented colors for both the Canadian and American anthems. LS1 Calligros, CSSN Miller, CSSN Deyampert, IT3 Reynolds, BMSN Williams, CTTSN Stone, and BMSN Jackson were led by CTRC Morris and proudly presented both flags to cheering fans. “It was a new routine for our Color Guard because we had to carry two flags onto the field,” said CTRC Morris. “The crowd was extremely impressed with SPRUANCE’s performance before the game, and even though the Red Sox didn’t win, everyone was proud to be in America on Monday.”
In downtown Bath, ME, approximately thirty SPRUANCE Sailors marched proudly among 107 other presenters for Bath Heritage Days’ Fourth of July Parade. Over 10,000 members of the Bath Community came out to support military past and present, as the parade included veterans of both the Vietnam and World War II. Every pre-commissioned ship since the USS MOMSEN (DDG 92) has sent troops to march proudly down the streets in Bath, and SPRUANCE was no exception. The six officers and twenty crew members who marched on Monday had impeccable uniforms and carried themselves with distinction – a fitting tribute to ADM Raymond Spruance.
SPRUANCE also sent twenty Sailors to Winslow, ME, to march in the largest Fourth of July Parade in the state. The group exuded so much poise and composure that they won First Place for “Best Marching Unit.” The town of Winslow paid for all of the Sailors to spend Sunday evening in a hotel and also provided complimentary meals for everyone participating. “All of our Sailors were thrilled to have their own rooms and eat delicious food for the weekend,” said ETCS Conway. “The trip offered Sailors a weekend getaway from Bath and a chance to explore a different town in Maine.” Joined by bagpipers, Shriners, Boy Scouts, and Central Maine Twirling Corps, the Quiet Warriors marched in-step along the mile and a half parade route. “Seeing how excited the crowd was when we walked down the street was very rewarding,” says FC3 Martin. “It made me very proud to serve my country.”
The outpouring of volunteers from SPRUANCE shows how dedicated the crew is to the community and to serving others. Their selfless efforts demonstrated to everyone in Bath, Winslow, and Boston what it means to serve in our country’s Armed Forces. Not only did SPRUANCE Sailors give back to the community, they were rewarded with praise and recognition at every event: “The outpouring of thanks and appreciation we received was really impressive,” said LS1 Calligros. “It’s nice to know the community thinks what we’re doing is important.”
From all of us onboard DDG 111, Happy Birthday, America!