GULF OF ADEN – Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer’s (LHD 4) Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) hosted a Mother’s Day brunch to honor deployed Sailor and Marine mothers, May 8.
Approximately 20 deployed mothers were served food and beverages from a special menu to express appreciation for their sacrifices and contributions aboard Boxer. JEA members were led by their mentor Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Joshua Casey, who coordinated the Mother’s Day event along with Supply department’s S-2 division.
“JEA wanted to do something special for the mothers aboard Boxer,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician Airman Jamecia Shaw, president of Boxer’s JEA. “We want the mothers to know that even though they aren’t with their kids, there are still others around that are grateful and appreciative for everything they do.”
JEA members seated the mothers in front of their own specially designed muffin decorated with heart and flower shapes. The brunch meal included rice pilaf, buttered corn on a cob, fried lobster, waffles with syrup, broccoli and cheese soup and desserts.
“S-2 has always been involved in all of Boxer’s monthly celebrations,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Arline Penullar. “As a mom, this event has boosted all Boxer mother’s morale because we felt how important our mission is, not only to the Navy but to our family as well.”
The aft mess decks were reserved for mothers on the ship to enjoy a meal while sharing the moment with other moms. JEA members waited on each attendee to provide personal service.
“The JEA members were attentive and they made it really special for us,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Della Smith.
The event concluded with a cake cutting ceremony by a mother now experiencing her first deployment and the youngest mother aboard Boxer.
“I have one daughter and this is my first deployment,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Alyssa Petts. “It’s hard to be away. It’s an adjustment not seeing her do the things that she does at this age, but I want her to be proud of me.”
For other moms who’ve been deployed several times, this is a way for them to share their experience with younger mothers.
“This is my fourth deployment, so I relate to junior Sailors who are mothers as well,” said Smith. “A mother and child’s bond is something that only a mom can fully understand, but events like this help a lot; it makes you feel as though you’re not alone.”
Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.