USS MAKIN ISLAND, At sea - The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) held a special Mother's Day meal on the ship to honor deployed Sailor and Marine moms, May 12.
The ship's special dining area adjacent to the mess decks know as Carlson's Café provided a private section for mothers to reflect on their children and enjoy a meal socializing with the other moms on the ship.
The meal was held the day before the traditional May 13 Mother's Day due to the ship's operational schedule.
Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Sabrina Pierce, one of Makin Island's food service personnel who helped prepare and serve the meal, said the event had special meaning as she is a mother herself.
"We go through a lot being away from home and we just wanted to set up a way to celebrate Mother's Day for all the moms on the ship," said Pierce. "It's nice to talk with some of the other moms, though, and know we're not alone when going through the same hard times."
The Sailor and Marine mothers were all treated to head-of-the-line privileges for the dinner, which consisted of steak, crab legs, shrimp cocktail, baked potatoes, corn on the cob and assorted desserts.
"It's nice to know I'm not the only mom who has a kid back home, and I'm not the only mom missing her kid," said Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Nicole Whittaker, who is on her first deployment away from her two-year-old son.
"It's been rough, because I'm 'Mommy' and I should be able to take care of him when he's sick, tuck him in at night, and be there to kiss his 'boo-boos,'" she added.
Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects over the course of the ship's lifecycle, to see fuel savings of more than $250 million, proving the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.
Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group that is currently deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.