Monday, November 14, 2011

This Day in Naval History - Nov. 14

From the Navy News Service

Get the best Navy history from the best United States Navy books written only by Navy veterans!

1846 - Naval forces capture Tampico, Mexico.
1910 - Civilian Eugene Ely pilots first aircraft to take off from a ship, USS Birmingham (CL 2) at Hampton Roads, Va. He lands safely on Willoughby Spit, Norfolk, Va.
1941 - Order to withdraw Marines at Shanghai, Peiping, and Tientsin, China.
1944 - Carrier aircraft attack Japanese shipping in Philippines sinking five ships and damaging one.

White Beach Festival Brings Communities Together

Weekends in Okinawa are great~!  Read about the good times you never had in the best United States Navy books!

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs

WHITE BEACH NAVAL FACILITY, Okinawa (NNS) -- White Beach Naval Facility hosted a two-day festival for more than 10,000 people to promote friendship and foster mutual appreciation and understanding between the Okinawa community and U.S. service members, Nov. 12-13.

Visitors interacted with Sailors, enjoyed cultural performances and explored the facility.

"This festival is a way to open the base up to the people of Okinawa," said Capt. Rich Weathers, commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa. "It lets them see what we do here and that we are just as big of a part of the community as anything else they see outside the gates."

Festivities began at 11 a.m. and lasted until 10 p.m. both days.

"We were expecting rain throughout the weekend but everything really turned out well for the festival," said Jeff Short, White Beach Naval Facility's complex manager. "We had a lot of static displays and games to keep the kids entertained, offered different types of great food and put on a few very successful musical performances."

The U.S. 7th Fleet and III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) bands each performed twice during the festival, playing both traditional and contemporary music.

"It was pleasure to come out and play for such an enthusiastic crowd," said Lance Cpl. Jeshua Sosa, a percussionist in the III MEF Band.

For a few hours each day forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) were open to the public for guided tours. Each ship had more than 1,000 visitors.

"It's hard to believe how big these ships are," said Lisa Agowa, a tour participant on Germantown. "The tour helped me understand a little of what Sailors go through during all those days at sea."

Dragon boat racing has been a popular event in parts of Asia for thousands of years and has recently gained support all over the world. The White Beach Festival gave 14 11-person teams the chance to prove that they were the best in Okinawa.

"I think the dragon boat races were the biggest draw this year," said Weathers. "We haven't included dragon boat races in the White Beach Festival in 21 years and everyone was excited to have them back. This type of racing is very important to the people of Okinawa so this is a great way of encouraging them to come visit this part of their community."

Korean War Vets Honored on First ‘Valor Flight’

Don’t let their sacrifices be forgotten! See the Korean War books where the real Korean War veterans tell you their story.

By Amanda Burke
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2011 – More than 100 Korean War veterans from Alabama traveled here on Veterans Day weekend to visit the Korean War Memorial in the first trip of its kind.

The nonprofit organization Valor Flight sponsored the trip to grant the veterans’ wishes to visit the memorial. This was the first trip that the organization has sponsored.

During the day of honor and remembrance, the veterans toured the Korean War Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial and other famous sites.

At the Iwo Jima Memorial, Navy Cmdr. John O’Brien, member of the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, awarded each of the veterans with a certificate of appreciation signed by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in honor of their service during the Korean War.

“Your country has not forgotten your sacrifice. Your utter selflessness has made possible the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today,” O’Brien said.

The Valor Flight program is modeled on the Honor Flight program that takes World War II veterans on day-long trips to the nation's capital. Valor Flight President Steve Celuch hopes to conduct another trip next spring.

“For our Korean War veterans, the men and women who served, it is critical that their sacrifices are not forgotten. This flight is one small way for us to say ‘thank you’ for their enormous contribution,” Celuch said.

The organization, which is based in Madison, Ala., seeks to recognize Korean War veterans for their service to the nation.

Seattle Seahawks Salute Service Members

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lawrence Davis, Commander, Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs

SEATTLE (NNS) -- The Seattle Seahawks honored Pacific Northwest active-duty, Reserve and retired service members during their annual Military Appreciation Day game against the Baltimore Ravens at Century Link Field in Seattle, Nov. 13.

During the pre-game, members from all branches participated in several festivities including a mass re-enlistment on the field and the singing of the National Anthem by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson with the Military Sea Hawkers Honor Guard presenting the colors.

The National Anthem concluded with a flyover by a C-17, courtesy of the 446th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve) from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

One Army soldier had the opportunity to lead the Seahawks out of the tunnel hoisting the American flag to start the game.

"What a great tribute to our military members who serve and fight to protect our country," said Dean St. Myers, a spectator in attendance. "Each and every one of them has definitely earned my respect, and this is all well deserved."

The "12th Man" flag was raised by George Hickman, one of the six known living Tuskegee Airmen in Seattle.

"This was awesome," said Chief Aviation Electronics Technician (AW) Jeff Smith, of Patrol Squadron One (VP-1). "It was my first time doing this, and it's an amazing experience to be out there receiving so much support from the community of Seattle."

Sailors who participated in presenting the American and Navy flags said they felt lucky to have this opportunity.

"It gives me a great sense of pride to be able to be a part of the armed forces and represent by hoisting the Navy's flag," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Jordan Catherman, assigned to Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion (MCSFBN), Bangor. "Right after pre-game, I got a text from my uncle saying he saw me on TV, which was pretty awesome."

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Clarence Judd, MCSFBN, said the experience meant more to him than just honoring himself.

"It is a rewarding experience," said Judd. "But, I come from a long line of military relatives, so it's like my being here is not only for me but the other service members in my family as well."

The Seahawks Military Appreciation Day concluded with a 22-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Awareness training for health care providers at Fort Bragg

Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, a registered nurse and a forensic nurse examiner with the International Association of Forensic Nurses and Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs, Colo., talks about the various health problems that occur from a history of intimate partner violence, during a training session for health care providers at Womack Army Medical Center, Oct. 11. Health care providers were provided an opportunity to more about their role in the health care of domestic violence victims.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Health care providers at Womack Army Medical Center learned more about their role in the health care of intimate partner violence at Weaver Auditorium, Oct. 11.

“The Role of the Health Care Provider in Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence” was an in-depth overview of the medical necessity and liability for the providers.

“I was asked to speak in honor of Domestic Awareness Month, to try to engage the health care providers here in accessing for domestic violence and effectively intervening on behalf of their patients,” said Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, a registered nurse and a forensic nurse examiner with the International Association of Forensic Nurses and Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The training covered topics including confidentiality issues, legal issues, intervention and management, documentation and different types of strangulation's that health care providers should look for.

Pierce-Weeks said the training was for health care providers. However, professionals of the community who come in contact with domestic violence victims were able to participate in the training.

During the training, Pierce-Weeks described how screening appropriately, helps health care providers make the connection between victimization, health problems and risk behaviors. To make screening easier for the health care providers, Pierce-Weeks mentioned a few helpful tips.

“Patients are more willing to have a conversation, rather than just asking,” she said. “You don’t want to just ask the bare minimum and assume that nothing is going on at home.”

She also suggested that health care providers should talk to the patients alone, and not while the patient’s spouse is in the same room.

“If you ask the patients in front of their significant other, it gives their partner an idea of what goes on and possibly rehearsed answers will be given at the next appointment,” said Pierce-Weeks.

The first portion of the training focused more on how to effectively screen for domestic violence by talking to the victims, the second part centered on strangulation and the signs, which aren’t commonly recognized.

“Strangulation's are more prevalent as a whole (in the country),” said Valerie McNeill, a Victims Witness Liaison with the XVIII Airborne Corps Judge Advocate General office. “We have several cases that deal with strangulation and some of the signs were shown during the presentation.”

“Only about half of strangulation victims have visible injuries,” said Pierce-Weeks. “You have to get close and really examine your patients. For example, if a patient is a sitting across from you, you will never see there are capillaries opened up underneath the eyelids or on the eyes.”

Ultimately, the training emphasized the importance of accurately accessing a patient for domestic violence and recognizing the red flags before something worse happens.

The training helped emphasize Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and also honored 2nd Lt. Holley L. James-Wimunc, a registered nurse from Womack Army Medical Center, who died from intimate partner violence.

“Prevention is the key,” said Robin Span, a victim advocate coordinator at Army Community Services, at Fort Bragg, N.C. “We want people to know there is an array of services available both on post and off post to help prevent domestic violence.”





LOS ANGELES (Nov. 14, 2011) – Maximum Warrior is a one-of-a-kind competition that tests 20 contestants in 15 action-packed, adrenaline-filled challenges. Presented by MAXIM, in partnership with the Jeep® Brand, Maximum Warrior just released its seventh webisode: IED Ambush. In this challenge, each of the five remaining warriors started by manning an M-240 machine gun mounted in the back of a Jeep Wrangler. As an instructor took drove the Jeep Wrangler down the range, the Warrior had to engage enemy targets to the east of him until a simulated IED blasted right next to the vehicle. At that moment, the Warrior jumped into action to drag an injured “dummy” driver out of the car and into a safe zone. The Warrior then continued down the range on-foot, distinguishing threats from non- threats and eliminating enemy targets with either his rifle or GLOCK 17. The warrior lost points if he missed enemy targets and if he shot at non-threats. The warrior with the worst adjusted time was eliminated. The IED Ambush challenge was won by U.S. Air Force Pararescue Luke D. who made it through the length of the range in 2:50, 25 seconds faster than the second place competitor.

IED Ambush Challenge:
The IED Ambush challenge, along with all 14 other challenges in the 2011 Maximum Warrior series, was modeled after very real situations that U.S. armed service members can and do encounter on the battlefield. They may start out with one task at hand, such as in Challenge 7 with the M-240 machine gun mounted on the back of the Jeep Wrangler. Enemy forces, however, may have other plans and the soldiers, or the warriors in this case, must adapt to the rapidly changing scenario.

Check out Week 7’s IED Ambush challenge and all previous weeks’ Maximum Warrior Challenge videos, biographies and other action-packed material at

Warrior Challenges (Weeks 1-10)
Week #1: Soldier Rescue Challenge
Week #2: Target Recognition Challenge
Week #3: Obstacle Course
Week #4: Jeep Wrangler Off-Road Maneuvers
Week #5: Wadi Patrol
Week #6: Combat Pistol Challenge
Week #7: IED Ambush
About Maximum Warrior
Maximum Warrior is a one-of-a-kind competition that tests 20 contestants in 15 action-packed, adrenaline-filled challenges. Presented by MAXIM, in partnership with the Jeep® Brand, Maximum Warrior is broken down into two separate programs – the authentic Maximum Warrior Competition that pits actual special ops operatives against one another; and the inaugural Maximum Warrior Pro-Am that pairs a special ops operative with a civilian contender to create a 10 team competition. The competition series was recently completed at the state-of-the-art T1G training facility in Crawfordsville, Ark.

About Alpha Media Group
Alpha Media Group Inc. is a multimedia company and publisher of the Maxim brand and magazine, the largest young men's lifestyle magazine in America reaching nearly 12 million readers each month. Maxim Digital encompasses and reaches more than 3 million unique visitors each month. MAXIM magazine is published in 24 countries and distributed in 52 territories worldwide. Maxim Ventures, the integrated media and marketing division, develops 360-degree integrated marketing programs designed to interact with men at every significant engagement channel: mobile, digital, social, large-scale events, retail promotion, experiential, database, TV and film.

About Jeep
Built on 70 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence. The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all six Jeep models are sold outside North America - and all are available in right-hand drive versions and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options. Chrysler Group LLC sells and services vehicles in approximately 120 countries around the world.

For media inquiries, please contact Ciara Green, DRIVEN Public Relations, at or 951-719-1040.

Retired Marine Makes Historic Swim Across Mississippi River

Friars Point, MS - November 14, 2011 -- Jay Platt (, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, today swam 1.88 miles across the Mississippi River in handcuffs and shackles, while blindfolded, becoming the only person to have ever done so. He did it to raise money and awareness for injured and wounded service personnel.

"I was looking for something challenging to do as a way of raising awareness to help the warriors who are coming back wounded from the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Platt, who was medically retired from the Marines due to complications from cancer. “Having lost an eye myself, I somewhat know how they feel, and I wanted to do something to help.

Platt, who is one of three men to have swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco with his hands and feet bound ( did the swim as a way of showing that anything is possible. “This seemed like the perfect way to show others that they too can overcome great challenges in their lives, even though the obstacles they face may seem overwhelming.”

Jay Platt enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 17. During his career, he trained recruits as a Drill Instructor, led Marines as a Platoon Sergeant, taught survival skills as a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival, and developed Marine leaders as a Marine Corps University Instructor and Advisor. In 1998, after a 15 year career, Jay retired due to complications from cancer. Since his retirement, through his speaking, writing, coaching, and adventure workshops, he has made it his life’s mission to work with others to help them break through their self-imposed barriers and to fully maximize their potential. Jay is the author of: “A Time to Walk: Life Lessons Learned on the Appalachian Trail,” and "No Matter What! How To Be Unstoppable, Despite The Obstacles, Starting Today."

For more information please visit:

Media Contact:
Jay Platt
Jay Platt & Associates