Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston A. Mohr
SULU SEA – Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), currently deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, celebrated the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4.
“In honor of this historic date, we will be serving a special Independence Day menu for lunch and dinner,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jan Schotman, Nimitz’ Principal Assistant for Services as he addressed the crew via email. “So on behalf of your food service divisions, please enjoy, and take a moment to reflect on how the work you do and the sacrifices you make help protect the ideals of freedom and democracy that changed the course of history 241 years ago.”
The food service division provided a special lunch and dinner for the crew in the enlisted mess decks, chief’s mess and wardrooms. The menu for the day consisted of traditional 4th of July food such as burgers, hot dogs, steaks and various sides.
With a crew of around 5,000 Sailors It takes a lot of time to prepare a special meal like this. According to Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lowe a native of St. Louis, the watch captain for the aft galley, it took more than six hours to prepare just the lunch menu alone.
“We cooked more than 1,200 burgers and more than 600 pounds of both sausage and bratwurst,” said Lowe. “It’s a lot of work on us in the galley, but It’s good to see the crew happy.”
While many will be celebrating Independence Day with their friends and family, Nimitz Sailors are spending theirs carrying out daily operations aboard a ship.
“Unfortunately for us, while people are back home having picnics and watching fireworks, our operational commitments get in the way of being there with them,” said Cmdr. J. W. David Kurtz, Nimitz’ executive officer. “But, if we can do something to make people feel like they’re at home then that’s a good thing to do for the crew. On top of that people are expressing a lot of pride and showing a lot of motivation being out here on the front lines while their families are able to be at home celebrating safely.”