SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 300 active duty, reserve and retired service members, DOD civilians, and their guests celebrated the Navy's 237th birthday during a ball at Bangor Plaza Ballroom on Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor, Oct. 13.
"Our families, our heroes" was the theme of this year's ball.
"First, I want to thank all the NBK Sailors, Marines and Guardsmen for your service this past year," said Capt. Pete Dawson, commanding officer of NBK. "Then I also want to thank your families for their support of you and the base."
Retired Marine Patrick Cleburne McClary was the guest of honor. McClary served in Vietnam and was injured leading his men deep in hostile territory.
McClary spoke heavily on the fact that it was his wife and family that helped him get through his 40 surgeries. He spent over two years in the hospital due to injuries sustained in combat.
During the celebration, the audience remembered the service members who were prisoners of war along with those who are missing in action.
"As we celebrate the Navy's birthday tonight and the company of our close shipmates, please take the time to raise some thoughts as a toast to those at sea tonight, those flying on patrol, those on patrol under the sea and those in foreign lands on duty," said Dawson.
The United States Navy originated from the Continental Navy, which was established by the Continental Congress Oct. 13, 1775. Birthday celebrations are planned throughout the fleet to commemorate this 237-year milestone.
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