BREMERTON, Wash (NNS) -- The commanding officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the sailor of the year led Stennis Sailors in the 65th Annual Armed Forces Day Parade in Bremerton, May 18.
Capt. Ron Reis, Personnel Specialist First Class Marionogerad Zamora and more than 300 fellow Stennis Sailors participated in the parade to honor our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.
"It was very humbling," said Reis. "Stennis has been to sea 17 of the last 24 months, but this community continues to open its arms and hearts as if we've never left. This is our home, and I'm very honored and proud to say that."
The parade was organized by the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce and Bremerton Kiwanis Club and included more than 143 groups ranging from active-duty military, veterans, state and local officials, community leaders and local students.
"Being a native of Bremerton, it is great to be part of a tradition that honors military service members," said Mike Strube, president and CEO of the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce. "It's a good feeling to see the community step up and continue to share in that tradition."
"The parade is the longest running, and one of the biggest Armed Forces Day parades in the country," said Cris Larsen, chairman of the Armed Forces Festival in Bremerton. "We take pride in our support of the military, and I understand the sacrifices that [service members] do. It's important to honor that. That's why this day exists."
On May 3, Stennis returned from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibilities in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and continued Theater Security Cooperation efforts.
For more news on Stennis visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/, www.stennis.navy.mil and www.Facebook.com/stennis74 .