USS LABOON, At Sea (NNS) -- The navigator aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) buried his great-grandfather and great-grandmother during a burial at sea ceremony May 17.
Lt. j.g. Keith Jackson fulfilled the request of his great-grandfather, retired Chief Boiler Technician Gardner Canto, to be buried at sea along with his deceased wife Helen Canto.
Jackson said that being able to conduct the burial at sea was especially important to him since he had only been able to visit his great-grandfather, who served 20 years in the Navy and received the World War II Victory Medal, two or three times in the last 10 years.
"My parents were going to visit him every six months, but I didn't get to go with them," said Jackson, who attended the U.S. Naval Academy and serves as a surface warfare officer. "He passed away back in 2009, while I was on deployment."
With the help of Jackson's father, who is also in the Navy, the Department of Veterans Affairs coordinated the burial for a time when Canto's great-grandson was out to sea, participating in exercise Joint Warrior off the coast of Scotland.
Jackson has had his great-grandfather's ashes since Laboon got underway for the exercise in March.
"He's been out to sea with me," Jackson said. "It was kind of like being able to spend some time with him."
For more news from USS Laboon, visit www.navy.mil/local/ddg58/.