WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Eleven USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Sailors and their spouses attended "All Together Now - A Celebration of Service," a tribute to President George H.W. Bush, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., March 21.
The ship's representation at the Points of Light Institute-sponsored event included former CVN 77 commanding officer Capt. Chip Miller; Sailor of the Year Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Miguel Hutchinson; Junior Sailor of the Year Aviation Boatswain's Mate (AW/SW) Mike Diaz; Petty Officer of the Year Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW/AW) Melinda Lumpkin; and Petty Officer of the Quarter Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class (AW/SW) Stephanie Breault.
Every living former president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and the evening's honoree, George H.W. Bush, were in attendance. The event served to honor President Bush's lifetime of service and to promote the American service movement which he spearheaded throughout his career.
Miller said he was particularly grateful to the current USS George H.W. Bush Commanding Officer, Capt. Brian Luther, for the opportunity to represent the command during the event.
The ship was at sea conducting carrier qualification exercises at the time of the event- precluding Capt. Luther's attendance at the Kennedy Center.
"It was an honor for all of us to represent the ship at such a high-profile event celebrating our namesake's involvement with volunteerism," said Miller. "As we all know, over 20 years ago he challenged us all to be points of light in our communities and encouraged us to make a difference through community service."
George H.W. Bush Sailors have consistently followed their namesake's call to be of service in their communities. Along with thousands of public service hours completed by individuals and small groups at the command, the ship has sponsored two, Thousand Points of Light Across Tidewater events. For the past two years, during the president's birth month, thousands of Sailors have given back to the Tidewater area through the use of their time and talents. During these two events more than 4,000 Sailors completed nearly 30,000 hours of service.
Lumpkin was similarly grateful for the opportunity to represent the ship at the tribute.
"Being given the opportunity to represent our namesake at this event gave me a sense of belonging and inspired me to take advantage of the little things I can do to help others, or "give back"," said Lumpkin. "It was an honor to represent our command at such an event, especially now when our mind set is to stay focused on a mission and answering the call if necessary. It is easy to acknowledge the sacrifice that we make, but hearing the appreciation in the Japanese ambassador's voice as he gave thanks for our support, made me realize the importance of our selfless service."
Continuing their commitment to give back to the local community, the command will begin sponsoring the USS George H.W. Bush Points of Light Service Volunteer Service program which is intended to encourage Sailors to participate in the local community, provide greater opportunities to serve, and allow Sailors to track their community service hours to earn the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
The President's Volunteer Service Award is sponsored in part by the Points of Light Institute and recognizes the efforts of civilian and military volunteers from around the nation.
The Points of Light Volunteer Service program will be co-sponsored by the Command's Religious Ministries Department (CRMD), who currently oversees the command's community relations efforts.
Sailors interested in participating in the program should contact Religious Programs Specialist Chief Petty Officer (SW/AW/FMF) David Aguirre, CRMD Leading Chief Petty Officer who is co-leading the program's efforts.
"All Together Now - A Celebration of Service" highlighted performances by Kid Rock, Carrie Underwood, Cee Lo Green, Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire, Sam Moore, Heather Headley. The show is scheduled to air March 25, on NBC.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.