USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) celebrated Native American and Alaskan Native heritage month with a ceremony held Nov. 30.
The ceremony included traditional Native American dancing, a cake cutting and a special Native American dinner.
During the ceremony, Capt. James Gigliotti, Truman's commanding officer, emphasized that the Navy's strength is built on the Navy's diversity.
"We play on that strength for a more talented, tolerant and stronger Navy because of our diversity," Gigliotti said.
Fireman Lochelle Loretto read a poem entitled "Dine," the Navajo word meaning "people."
Loretto said Native American and Alaskan Native heritage month means a lot to her, because it gives her the opportunity to share the rich history of her ancestry and a chance to enlighten all of her crew members on what it means to be a Native American.
"I think it's a great time to show others we are not just arrows and feathers," said Loretto. "We are real people and not just stereotypes."
Senior Chief Dental Technician (SW/AW) Louis Ferraro believes educating Sailors about different backgrounds will fortify the crew.
"It will help prevent against stereotypes, discrimination and prejudices," said Ferraro. "It also aligns with the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment."
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, consisting of USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Mason (DDG 87), USS Monterey (CG 61), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) and the aircraft from embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, deployed Oct. 13 for its second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.