Stockdale Sailors Celebrate MLK Jr. Day
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) David Hooper, USS Stockdale Public Affairs
USS STOCKDALE, At Sea - Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) took time out of work to join the nation in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 21.

Stockdale's multicultural committee held a celebration on the mess decks that included singing, a reading of King's "I have a dream" speech, and a special lunch.
"The music was great, the speech was great and the presentation was formal and informative," said Culinary Specialist 2nd (SW) Class Devin Burkland, celebration attendee. "All around they did very well."

According to the president of the committee, the goal of the celebration was to not only entertain, but to inform crew members of King's important work and legacy.

"I think everyone, especially a lot of younger Sailors, need to know where all this came about and why we put on a celebration for this day," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW) Jimmie Frazier, president of Stockdale's multicultural committee. "It's a celebration for everybody."

King was an advocate for non-violent activism during the civil rights movement, which ultimately reshaped the nation and the U.S. Navy.

"It is a wonderfully diverse group of people who make up this great warship," said Lt. Steven Chapman, Destroyer Squadron One chaplain. "To see them live, work, fight and serve together, I think Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud to see today's Navy."

Cmdr. Bo Johns, executive officer aboard Stockdale, said he was very proud to see his Sailors plan and execute such an important event on their own.

"It was the Sailors who came up with a program that was simple, tasteful and effective to relay the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. and his life to the crew," said Johns.

After the presentations were complete, Sailors enjoyed a specially prepared meal and cake on the mess decks.
USS Stockdale (DDG 106) is a part of the Nimitz Strike Group Surface Action Group (SAG), which is currently deployed to the Western Pacific to focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
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