USS HALSEY, At sea (NNS) - Sailors aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) brought in the new year during a celebration on the mess decks while on a Western Pacific deployment Dec. 31.
Showing their spirit by dressing themselves in New Year's party hats, tiaras, beaded necklaces and streamers, Sailors celebrated in style thanks to the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation coordinators (MWR). MWR also provided root beer floats, whistles, and various noise-making party favors.
"Events like this during the holidays give us the sense of normalcy and a connection to our friends and family back home through common activities," said Chief Operation's Specialist Tonya Gray, MWR coordinator. "We were not home with our families, but we were here on the ship with our family."
Sailors were also treated to a meal consisting of barbeque wings, mozzarella sticks, and various other appetizers provided by the culinary specialists aboard Halsey.
"The culinary specialists and MWR put a lot of work into helping make the ship feel more like a home with good food, good people, and good times," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Sean Maqueston.
For many Sailors aboard Halsey, including Maqueston, being away from home celebrating New Year's Day without their families is a tough experience.
"Being away from home can be tough, and its the little things like this that help make the time away from home a lot easier," said Maqueston.
Some of the crew played video games and card games while others took turns putting on live karaoke performances for each other throughout the night.
"I really enjoyed the New Year's Eve party, even though I was still working making finger foods for the crew to snack on," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Tiffany Gabb, MWR secretary, who enjoyed having everyone around her sing karaoke and play games. "We still had the music playing and were dancing even after the celebration was over and we began cleaning."
Halsey is currently on a scheduled western Pacific deployment as a part of Carrier Strike Group 1 along with Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).