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USS New Orleans Sailors Visit Veterans

SEATTLE -- Sailors honored local veterans Aug. 3, at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle division during Seattle Seafair Fleet Week 2012.

Rear Adm. Michael Yurina, director for strategic planning and communication of the submarine warfare division, was joined by Sailors from the USS New Orleans (LPD 18) to interact with veterans at the health clinic.

"It's such a privilege for me because it gives us an opportunity to thank those who served before us," said Yurina. "Anytime we can give back, even if it's just a handshake or a smile, it makes it all worthwhile."

The Sailors were greeted by the veterans who had a great time seeing the Sailors in their dress uniforms.

"They look really impressive," said Gary Matthews, retired Army special warfare. "The older we get, the more these types of visits mean to us."

Michele Larsen, voluntary services, said that having interaction with the Sailors has a big impact on the veterans.

The visit coincided with Seattle Seafair Fleet Week 2012, one of 21 Navy Weeks being held this year across the country. Navy Weeks are designed to showcase the investment Americans have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Seattle Seafair Fleet Week 2012 began July 31, and will run through Aug. 6, with Sailors attending events throughout the city to raise local awareness of the U.S. Navy and its various missions around the world.

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