USS Stethem Celebrates Independence Day at Sea 
PHILIPPINE SEA – Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) celebrated Independence Day while underway in the Philippine Sea. 

The combined efforts of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation committee (MWR) and the First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA), made July 4th anything but a normal workday by helping Sailors feel a little closer to home. 

“Being underway on the 4th of July brings mixed feelings for me,” said Chief Electronics Technician Ryan Davis. “On the one hand I am very proud to be in the Navy and be defending our freedom, but on the other hand I am sad that I am not home enjoying festivities with family. However, MWR did a great job of making me feel at home with my Stethem family.

Stethem had a steel beach picnic on the flight deck during which the FCPOA cooked cheeseburgers, hotdogs, and barbeque chicken. Following the picnic there was an open-air movie night on the flight deck with popcorn and nachos. The Quartermasters hoisted signal flags reading “4th of July” and Stethem flew her battle ensign to commemorate U.S.  Independence.

“Being able to celebrate our country’s independence underway with my shipmates was a unique and humbling experience,” said Fire Controlman Seaman Kameron Huit. 

USS Stethem is underway with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group in the 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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