NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The family of USS Bulkeley's (DDG 84) namesake was honored with a Medal of Honor flag presentation Dec. 4 aboard the guided-missile destroyer Bulkeley in Norfolk, Va.
Adm. J. C. Harvey, Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presented the flag to Medal of Honor recipient retired Vice Adm. John Duncan Bulkeley's family.
The ship is named in honor of Bulkeley, who served on active duty for more than 55 years.
The Medal of Honor flag has been given to Medal of Honor heroes since Congress granted such recognition in 2002. Congress ordered the creation of the Medal of Honor flag to commemorate the sacrifice and blood shed for freedom.
Bulkeley's son, retired Capt. Peter Bulkeley, received the flag on behalf of the family.
"It's a great honor. First of all, the honor is for my father, Adm. John Bulkeley - he is the one who is the recipient," said Capt. Bulkeley. "For the family to receive the flag that belongs to him [for the medal he was awarded] back in 1942 in the Philippines is something that is a great honor."
Bulkeley earned the medal for his heroic actions during World War II, when he evacuated Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Philippine President Manuel Quezon from Manila Bay to the southern Philippines in March 1942.
The Medal of Honor is the country's highest military honor, awarded for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Upon Bulkeley's retirement, he was promoted by Congress to vice admiral on the retired list. Bulkeley died April 6, 1996, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
After receiving the flag from Harvey, Capt. Bulkeley handed it over to the custody of the ship's commanding officer, Cmdr. Christopher DeGregory.
"This is a tremendous honor, and Adm. Bulkeley's spirit lives on everyday," said DeGregory. "We call ourselves the 'Wolfpack' because Adm. Bulkeley's name was the 'Sea Wolf.' We feel a connection with him daily."
Many of the Sailors aboard Bulkeley felt they gained a new found appreciation for their ship's namesake.
"It is a major honor to have this ceremony aboard our ship today," said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Albert Shaw. "I think it is a great experience for our junior Sailors to witness such an event, and I am very grateful to serve aboard USS Bulkeley."
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