By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs
BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The Navy Nurse Corps Week recognizing their 107th anniversary wrapped up with the 2nd Annual 'Aloha Moani 5K' Memorial Run honoring one of their own.
The 'Aloha Moani' run on May 16, 2015, was dedicated to honor the memory Lt. Rebekah Moani Daniel, NHB staff member who passed away in March, 2014, due to a rare complication of childbirth.
More than 120 runners participated in the run which included many friends and family who traveled from California and Hawai'i to attend, which turned out to be more than just a 3.1 mile run and walk for many. It also provided local family, friends, co-workers, supporters, and community members the opportunity to keep the legacy of Lt. Daniel and her enthusiasm for fitness alive and going.
"Lt. Rebekah Moani Daniel was very tenacious. She would have embraced the hills and happiness this run brings. We have the ability to do just that," said Lt. Shawn Redmon, NHB Chaplain. "She also appreciates and loved herself, family, and friends in being part of a run like this. The spirit of Moani lives on."
Runners received upon completion a traditional Hawaiian lei and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the three age-categories received commemorative Hawai'ian shell necklaces. There were also prizes - chew toys - for the top three canine finishers.
The overall top three finishers were Andy Peters with a time of 18:15 for a 5:53 pace per mile; followed by Dan Hollingsworth with 19:57 and a 6:26 pace; and John Spannuth at 20:04, with a 6:28 pace.
It was on May 13, 1908, that then-President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Naval Appropriations Bill that authorized the establishment of the Nurse Corps as a unique staff corps of the Navy.
"What differentiates us in the Navy from everyone else in health care is our Nurse Corps and their hard work and dedication," said Capt. Christopher Quarles, NHB Commanding Officer.
The Navy Nurse Corps birthday stretched throughout the entire week at NHB, as the NHB Nurse Corps members sponsored a speed mentoring course to explain the various nursing career specialties available to prospective Sailors, and held their official birthday celebration on May 13. The Navy Nurse Corps is also the exact same time as National Nurses Week that is annually recognized and celebrated May 6 to May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the founder of modern nursing.
There are approximately 146 active duty and civilian nurses assigned to NHB - 68 active duty personnel - along with six American Red Cross nurse volunteers, out of the Navy's active and Reserve Nurse Corps approximately 4,300 members, a sizable increase from the Navy Nurse Corps initial group of 20 in 1908 - known as the "Sacred Twenty."
As was the case 107 years ago, NHB's Nurse Corps continues to provide care and support, especially in remembrance for those gone but never forgotten.