NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) American Heritage Observance Committee (AHOC) celebrated Black History Month on Feb. 15 with a special luncheon in the Floating Accommodation Facility (FAF) galley.
The menu included traditional soul-food dishes like Southern-fried chicken, barbeque spare ribs and baked fish.
"The food was great," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Cody Patton. "It felt great to show my support for diversity and to celebrate everything the African-American culture brings to the Navy," said Patton.
The lunch was also a learning experience for the culinary specialists preparing the food.
"We used a lot of the same food we always do," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) John Collins, food services leading petty officer. "[However, the] style and the preparation were different to reflect African-American culture. It's good for the younger culinary specialists to learn another way to prepare food so they can use that knowledge in future celebrations."
AHOC pays tribute to various cultures and heritages by having commemorative lunches and presentations throughout the year to inform Sailors of the importance of different cultures, and encourage them to learn more about other people's heritage.
This lunch was just one of the events planned by AHOC to commemorate Black History Month. There will also be a Black History Celebration at noon Feb. 23 in the Huntington Hall gymnasium.
"Hopefully, if we continue to celebrate diversity, it will lead us to unity," said Collins, who also serves as an AHOC member. "I've been involved with a lot of these celebrations - whether planning them or preparing food - but it's always special when you're celebrating your own ethnicity."
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