USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
Makin Island Gym Renovated, Renamed After Fallen Mentor
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd class Nick Cerilli, USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) completed a renovation project of the ship's gym, Nov. 16.

The week-long renovation project included installing 11 new stationary bikes, two treadmills, two cable crossovers, a hip/dip assist, three-way benches, a set of kettle bells, 120 new deck mats, and complete space preservation. 

The updated gym expands opportunities for Sailors and Marines to enhance physical fitness, both in port and underway.

"I was truly proud of the combined effort from different divisions around the ship to bring the new vision for our gym to life," said Makin Island's Fun Boss Kristen Venoy, who facilitated the renovation. 

Many Sailors expressed their feelings about being part of a project that upgraded such an important facility, while memorializing someone that had a major impact on the command.

"I felt honored to contribute to a project that meant so much to the ship," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Levi Stidham, from Westfield, Ind. "A lot of work went into the gym, but seeing how great everything turned out made it well worth it."

The gym was named "Sutton Gym" after Makin Island's late Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Kyle G. Sutton, who died in a motorcycle incident, Aug. 31.

Venoy and Chief Boatswain's Mate Danielle Rosetti said they felt the dedication was very fitting for a master chief who had so much impact on the crew.

"Master Chief Sutton left a lasting impression on so many on this ship," said Venoy. "I think this gym is going to inspire Sailors to lead and honor their work and commitment to this ship. Walking into this gym and seeing new equipment, clean mats, and his mural is so motivating!"

Rosetti, a close friend and protege of Sutton, painted the mural. She said the naming of the gym in Sutton's honor is fitting for someone who enjoyed staying fit. 

"The gym was a constant for him. He believed to stay fit, you had to put our time in," said Rosetti. "It is humbling to know his legacy and leadership will still carry on."

Makin Island is finishing a phased maintenance availability in San Diego.
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