USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) committed the remains of 11 veterans, including two former Enterprise Sailors, to their final resting place in the Atlantic Ocean during a burial at sea ceremony March 17.
Those 'committed to the deep' included an Enterprise plankowner who served aboard the carrier during its maiden deployment in 1962, and a master chief master-at-arms assigned to Enterprise at the time of his death several months ago. All 11 service members received full military honors at the ceremony.
"It's always a privilege to be asked to conduct a burial at sea, but this is the first one I've done involving someone I actually knew," said Cmdr. John Owen, command chaplain. "To commit a shipmate I've served with made this ceremony much sadder and more meaningful."
Nearly all of the master-at-arms aboard Enterprise attended the ceremony to pay final respects to their shipmate and master chief.
They were joined by a majority of the carrier's Chief Petty Officers Mess, on hand to honor a member of the Mess as his remains were committed to the deep.
"It was an honor to pay tribute to a good shipmate and friend today," said Chief Master-at-Arms Larry Harper, a ceremony participant. "We feel like we've lost a member of our family and he has been greatly missed."
Though they were not originally scheduled to participate in the ceremony, Harper said members of Enterprise's security team insisted on playing any roles they could.
"I'm very impressed and moved by the way people step up and volunteer to go out of their way to honor fellow service members aboard this ship, and today's ceremony was another perfect example of that," said Owen. "I think everyone feels good about how we appropriately honored these people, and I'm always proud to be part of such a timeless naval tradition. It's through ceremonies like these that we live out what it means to be true shipmates."
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