USS PELELIU, At Sea - Members of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu's (LHA 5) Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) organization sponsored a holiday celebration in the hangar bay entitled "A Global Celebration," Dec. 22.
The celebration featured a play "Petty Officer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Sailor's Past," a choir with members of the Diversity Team and Second Class Association and a slide show presentation of how other cultures celebrate the holidays.
"We've been planning this event since October," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) Airman Liz Camacho, Peleliu's CSADD co-chairman. "This is a lot of Sailors' fi rst deployment, and we didn't want them to be alone for the holidays. Everyone is family here."
The story plot consisted of Sailors trying to convince Scrooge feel the holiday spirit.
"It's been a great experience working on this play," said Seaman Shawn Wolfe, an actor in the play. "It was fun, and I think we did a great job."
In between acts, CSADD presented slides describing how other cultures celebrate the holiday season. The slides included Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, holiday celebrations in India, Latin America and European Christmas origins.
The show also featured a choir comprised of the ship's diversity team and Second Class Association. They sang songs such as "Winter Wonderland," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Deck the Halls." Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class Joseph Sawyer sang a solo of "O Holy Night."
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class George Busto, vice president of the diversity team and choir coordinator, was pleased with the choir's work. "I am so happy with the work they've done to put on the show," said Busto. "The fact that they commit their off-time and many hours to practice is amazing. They make it easy for me to work with them."
This event served as a way for many Sailors to connect, whether first-deployers or seasoned seafarers, in a time from family, relatives and friends.
"We are just trying the spread the holiday message, and help the Sailors and Marines feel more at home," said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Maurice Williams, a CSADD member. "This is our first Christmas away from home for a lot of us, and we just want to bring everyone together."
The show had an impact on the audience as well.
"It put me in the Christmas spirit," said Yeoman 2nd Class Nicholas Jones. "It's great that CSADD takes an interest in how we feel around the holidays being away from home."
Peleliu's CSADD team recently won Navy Region Southwest's Best Sea Chapter of the Year and received an honorable mention on the national chapter level.
Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.