GULF OF ADEN (Oct. 31, 2014) – USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Fun Boss Kristen Venoy and her shipboard Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff hosted a “Halloween 5K Fun Run/Walk” on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship.
Sailors and Marines were given the opportunity to design costumes for the event which were judged for first, second, and third place prizes at the end of the run.
“We host the runs not only to promote fitness, but also to give Sailors and Marines a chance to socialize with their shipmates,” said Venoy.
Everything from a half-man, half-horse to creepy clowns and aliens paraded Makin Island’s flight deck during the run.
“What a great way to do Halloween aboard a ship,” said Lt. Bill Lawson, the medical regulating control officer assigned to embarked Fleet Surgical Team Five, who was dressed as “Lt. Dangle” from the television show “Reno 911.”
Despite the day’s desert-like temperature, Sailors and Marines didn’t let the heat stop them from enjoying the event.
“It was really hot running with a frog hat on, but it was worth it to see everyone else in their costumes out there. I was impressed,” said Marine Sgt. Emery Langley, assigned to embarked 1st Light Armor Reconnaissance Battalion, Charlie Company, 1st Platoon.
Master Chief Intelligence Specialist (SW/IDW/AW) Cheri Galvez, the intelligence leading chief petty officer aboard Makin Island, shared her opinion about how fortunate she felt to have the opportunity to participate in the event.
“I mean seriously, who gets to run a 5K on the flight deck of a warship in the Gulf of Aden while we're operationally deployed? It’s awesome getting to run with my fellow Sailors and Marines,” said Galvez.
As participants crossed the finish-line, MWR staff stood by with water, oranges and swag bags.
“It really boosts our morale getting us all together as a team,” said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class (SW/IDW/AW) Rhodelia Turner, a Makin Island Sailor.
Makin Island’s MWR team concluded the event as the Fun Boss and participants gathered to judge each other’s costumes and captured the moment with a group photo in front of the ship’s number.
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.