By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph R. Wax, USS Enterprise Public Affairs/Fleet Public Affairs Center, Atlantic
On Nov. 24, the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), Donald C. Winter, spent time on board USS Enterprise (CVN 65) to thank members of the Enterprise Strike Group (ENTSG) for their dedicated service.
Shortly after his arrival, Winter made his way to the ship's hangar bay to address the crew.
"I am here to thank you for everything you are doing on behalf of our Navy and our nation," he said. "The effects your efforts are having, combined with the effects the joint operations are having are making a big difference. Recently, I was in Fallujah and being able to walk the streets at night and being able to walk through and have the kids come out shows things are changing."
Winter then held a question and answer session with the ENTSG Sailors and Marines, discussing topics such as expansion of the fleet, tuition assistance and individual augmentee billets.
Winter said he felt it was important to personally deliver his message to the Sailors and Marines forward
deployed during this holiday season.
"I can send as many Navy messages as I want, but coming out here physically does so much more," he said.
The sentiment was definitely felt by members of the strike group.
"This shows that the Secretary of the Navy cares for us," said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class (AW) Charles Sieber, a member of Electronic Attack Squadron 137. "It shows a great deal of respect for him to come out here on a holiday weekend and take the time away from his family. Having a chance to come up here and meet him was a great honor."
Before leaving the stage to take a short tour of the ship, Winter left the ENTSG crowd with these parting words.
"Thank all of you very much," he said. "God bless you. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and I hope you have a fine cruise out here."