By Julius L. Evans, NMLC PAO
Sailors from Naval Medical Logistics Command volunteered and were on hand with spectators from around the nation and other countries Wednesday, June 13 at the Baltimore Inner Harbor during the commencement of the weeklong commemorative celebration of the War of 1812 affectionately coined the Star-Spangled Sailabration.
Huge crowds visited the numerous displays open to the public in the event slated to be an international parade of more than 40 tall ships and naval vessels. These ships sailed into Baltimore for the national launch of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Star-Spangled Sailabration featured free tours of the ships, waterside festivities, an air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and the world-premiere of “Overture for 2012,” composed by Philip Glass.
Hospital Corpsmen Seaman Apprentice Denise Matamoro, one of NMLC’s newest members, shared her thoughts on volunteering to support community relations events like the Star-Spangled Sailabration.
“I believe it is always good to take advantage of opportunities to help with the activities occurring in and around our community,” said the native of Passaic, New Jersey. “We belong to a relatively small command that does not have a large presence on Fort Detrick. Participating in these types of events allow us a chance to be a part of a much larger community. Plus, I had never seen the U.S. Navy Leap Frog team before. It was a cool experience.”
Spectators got a chance to participate in many other experiences like watching the ships’ arrival, aircraft displays, various ceremonies, Navy Special Warfare Dynamic Waterborne demonstrations, a celebration of flags and even a fireworks display.
Despite all the Navy representation, Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 1st Class James Williams explained why he volunteered to participate in the Sailabration.
“I enjoy representing our Navy in public. I remember seeing Sailors at public events growing up and it was one of things that inspired me to join the Navy,” said the Fresno, Ca., native. “Volunteering is key. We are able to show taxpayers that we do more than go to war and defend the many freedoms we as Americans enjoy, but are willing to get out on the civic "Deckplates" in Navy jargon, and lend a hand in our local communities.”
Matamoro agreed with Williams’ assessment on volunteering. “Volunteering is another way of showing that are proud to be Americans and that we are proud to be military members,” she said. “It was really nice to hear people say ‘thank you for serving our country’ and then shake our hands. That is one of the reasons why I put on my uniform every day. Even though we aren't on the front lines, we are making a difference in our community and for our country.”
The Star-Spangled Sailabration activities were from June 13-19 with the tall ships and naval warships departing in a “Parade of Sail” bringing a conclusion to the festivities.
Naval Medical Logistics Command is located on Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., and is Navy Medicine’s center for logistics expertise. It designs, executes and administers individualized state of the art solutions to meet customer’s medical materiel and healthcare needs.