– Nearly 80 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen attended a luncheon at the Lauderdale Yacht Club honoring the service of women in the military and to socialize with professional women from throughout the Fort Lauderdale area.
Sailors from the USS Cole (DDG 67), USS New York (LPD-21), USS Indiana (789), USNS Newport, Marines from the 2nd
Assault Amphibious Battalion and various Coast Guard commands in South Florida enjoyed a fine meal and time to socialize during this event.
“Total Marine Solutions is honored to have the opportunity during Fleet Week Port Everglades to host our military men and women. The Salute to Women in the Military has been an annual event where our community comes together to say “Thank You” for your military service. God bless our military!”, said Alex Anagnostis-Irons, the Co-Chair of Broward Navy Days, the civilian organization that helps host Fleet Week Port Everglades.
The event opened with a welcome from Captain Greg A. Smith, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Southeast, and followed with two female military keynote speakers. Lt. Lexie Silva from the USS Indiana (SSN-789) and Lt. Ruth Rivera-Turnewitsch from the USS Cole (DDG-67). Each officer spoke on their experience as officers in the Navy.
Silva spoke about being apart of the trailblazing groups of women on submarines in the Navy and how important it is to her to be a good leader. “Many think to be a female submariner today is exceptional. I feel lucky to be a part of that small group but even luckier to be a part of something bigger and more impactful. Being a member of the crew of USS Indiana (SSN-789) means I am part of a family- a family of hardworking and humble submariners that don’t see me as a woman submariner but see me more simply as a submariner, just like them.” Silva also stated, “I get to lead and work with a group of the smartest and most caring Sailors I have encountered. I’ve learned about working hard and how to get a “yes” in the face of impossible material issues.”
Rivera-Turnewitsch, who is a Navy Chaplain, spoke about how she knew her job was vital for the Navy, and how she felt about being the first female Navy Chaplain on the USS Cole (DDG-67). “When I think about my role in service. I’m not only glad to be the first female chaplain on the Cole, but what also brings me joy is the why I am where I am. I remain committed to serve at the forefront of the Navy for the purposes of the Almighty. God’s love extends to every corner of our world and every human being therein. This is a call I deem so important because it came from the Maker of life, the Creator of choice, Lord over all the earth, Who cares for His children wherever they serve to remind them of their identity, their purpose, and the Source of their strength.”
Fleet Week Port Everglades allows Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to interact with as many people as possible and display their Navy pride and showcase what they do in defense of our country.
Information on other events and activities for Fleet Week Port Everglades may be found by visiting https://browardnavydaysinc.org/