USS Bataan Takes Part in Week of Valor

USS Bataan Takes Part in Week of Valor

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) arrived in Mayport, Fla., Nov. 2 to support the Week of Valor, sponsored by the city of Jacksonville, Fla.

The Week of Valor is a week long event to honor service members, both veteran and active duty, for their service to their country. Sailors aboard Bataan will have the chance to attend a variety of functions during their visit such as a job fair, concert, and parade on the last day of the event.

The city of Jacksonville has planned multiple events, which run from Nov. 5 through Nov. 12.

“I think this trip will be a good morale booster for the crew,” said Lt. Jennifer Bouchard, Bataan’s assistant first lieutenant. “Preparing to show off our ship to our guests builds camaraderie.”

During the port visit, Bataan will host a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball game on the ship’s flight deck. Crew members will have an opportunity to meet the University of Florida Gators and watch them play against the Georgetown University Hoyas Nov. 9.

“The basketball game is a great way to entertain people,” said Chief Cryptologic Technician Collections (SW/AW) Burton Stark, a native of Virginia Beach, Va.It will attract a large crowd, and while they’re not watching the game, people can see what Sailors do.”

Once the ship moored, the Honorable Alvin Brown, mayor of Jacksonville, welcomed the ship and crew, and presented Capt. Erik M. Ross, commanding officer of Bataan, with the keys to the city.

“I am proud and honored at the arrival of the USS Bataan at Naval Station Mayport,” said Brown in his welcoming remarks. “We work every day to ensure a great relationship with our current and retired service members,” he said, explaining why the city was hosting the Week of Valor.

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our ship, and the fine young Sailors who make things happen,” said Ross about the ship’s visit. “We hope everyone who comes aboard will take a moment to ask the Sailors about their jobs. Guests will definitely see the pride and professionalism of their Navy.”

While preparations are made for the NCAA Amphib Classic onboard, Bataan’s crew will be able to enjoy liberty and the hospitality of the city. Along with Morale, Welfare, and Recreation tours arranged for the week, Sailors will also be able to participate in Veteran’s Day celebrations and several military appreciation events.

The city officials are planning to make the Week of Valor an annual event, in support of the large number of veterans and active duty personnel who have made the city their home.

Naval Today Staff, November 7, 2012; Image: US Navy