Sailors From USS Shoup Visit Children, Veterans During Indianapolis Navy Week


Sailors delivered Navy ball caps to children at the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent Aug. 15 at a ‘Caps For Kids’ community relations event during the kickoff of Indianapolis Navy Week 2011.

Sailors from USS Shoup (DDG 86) traveled from their homeport of Bremerton, Wash., to participate.

“The Navy is a very positive entity, and we do a lot of positive things like this on a daily basis in our communities across the country,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Stephanie Minix, USS Shoup medical department leading chief petty officer.

Molly McCloud, a certified child life specialist with Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, noted these types of visits from Sailors in their dress white uniforms make a huge difference in every child’s life.

“It’s good to have … the Sailors visit today,” McCloud said. “It’s great to break up the monotony of the hospital experience. It makes a huge difference for these kids. They’re here and they always have tests and doctors and nurses coming into their rooms to treat them. So to have somebody come for a visit that’s just for fun is a great treat to these kids and their families. It gives them something to look forward to.”

Engineman Fireman Michael Curnett said he was proud to visit patients at the children’s hospital and show them that the Navy cares.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” he said. “Not a lot of people who live in the midwest get to see Sailors in uniform. So when we come into the hospital, these kids feel important because they have people all dressed up to see them. I think it’s a really good thing for us to do.”

Later that same day, Sailors, including Vice Adm. Mark D. Harnitchek, deputy commander, U.S. Transportation Command, and other Navy officers paid a visit to patients to the Roudebush VA Medical Center, met with fellow veterans, and even served meals to the veterans.

“This is a great opportunity for us to thank those great men and women for their service, whether that was in Vietnam, Korea or the second world war,” Harnitchek said. “It was just a real thrill for me to talk some of these great heroes.”

Jim Todd, chief of voluntary services at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, said visits like the one that took place at the beginning of Indianapolis Navy Week 2011 help lift the spirits of veterans recuperating and getting outpatient services at the hospital.

“I think it’s really good that the different branches of the military come in and visit our veterans,” he said. “It was exciting to be out in the hallways and watch all the veterans who were here for services today get … excited. It creates that great interaction that really gets them going, and it’s really fun to see that happen.”

Indianapolis Navy Week 2011 is one of 21 Navy Weeks planned across America this year. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Source: navy, August 19, 2011;