USS CARTER HALL, At Sea -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) conducted a burial-at-sea for eight former military members March 18.
Military funerals at sea are a long tradition conducted in honor of the deceased's dedication and faithful service to our country. "Today, we bury the dead," said Cmdr. Greg Blyden, commanding officer of Carter Hall. "The remains committed today are our brothers-in-arms who honorably served our great nation." Sailors from every department aboard Carter Hall and embarked Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) volunteered to help with the service and burial. "This is a good experience to honor our fallen veterans and commemorate their time and dedication to service," said Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class Christina Clevenger. "Volunteers participate as either urn bearers, carrying the ashes of our nation's service member or as side boy honors detail."
Ship's Serviceman Seaman Queenie Chatman, one of many volunteers who participated for the first time in a burial-at-sea, expressed how honored she felt to have the opportunity to participate. "I am so excited and feel privileged to get the opportunity to be a part of this," said Chatman. "My father is retired Navy, and so I really feel a deep sense of honor and pride to be able to lay to rest a few of our Nation's veterans." A burial-at-sea is conducted to render honors to fallen servicemembers who are active duty, retired, honorably discharged or family members. Carter Hall honored seven members of the Navy and a member of the Marine Corps with a 21-gun salute and piping from the honor boatswain's mate. "And so we commit these great Americans to the deep," said Blyden. "Our brothers who served their nation with pride and honor. Farewell to all." The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group #KSG ARG# includes Amphibious Squadron 4 (PHIBRON), amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The group is on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.