Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West offers the following Independence Day message (delivered to the fleet on June 29):
"As we celebrate this great nation's birthday I'd like you to take a moment and consider your role in preserving the ideals the United States was founded upon.
No matter the platform on which you serve, the community to which you belong or the rating that identifies your skill set, you are all patriots in defense of liberty and protectors of our independence.
Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for the honor to serve among you. It really hits home, though, during holidays like these when we are reminded of what this country stands for. Independence Day is a time to celebrate the freedoms we hold dear and to honor those who have protected them for 233 years.
For your part in that, I say thank you.
I also ask that while you celebrate our nation's birthday you keep in mind those who are deployed protecting what we are celebrating. Additionally I ask you keep another item at the forefront and that is safety. Use common sense on our nation's freeways and take every possible precaution (including watching out for others) whether you're driving, riding a motorcycle, on the water or staying at home with fireworks and barbecue.
I expect safety to be a primary discussion point now and every day leading up to the holiday weekend. Awareness and caution should be the watchwords of every Sailor and Navy family member.
Enjoy your holiday, shipmates. No matter where you are, on or below the world's seas and oceans, in the air or boots on ground, I hope you get to spend at least a few moments celebrating the 4th of July. Stay safe and continue to take care of one another.
Thanks for what you do in defense of this incredible country of ours.
Stay focused; stay alert and stay safe,