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By Terri Bernhardt

US-navy-emblem-500On Saturday, October 16th more than 500 Sailors, civilians and family members from around the Central Florida area celebrated the Navy’s 235th birthday during a ball held at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport. The Navy Ball is an annual event to celebrate the heritage and history of the fleet. This year’s gala honored guest speaker Gordon Nakagawa, Captain USN (RET) and former POW from the Vietnam War. 



“The Navy Ball allows us to remember where it is we came from and allows us to celebrate the whole reason we do what we do,” said Captain William (ROTO) Reuter. “Every year we celebrate we continue carrying the torch and pass it on to our junior Sailors to carry it into the future.” 

The evening began with the presentation of colors, playing of the national anthem by the band Paradise, and an invocation by COL USA (RET) Lee Barnes, Northrup Grumman. The evening’s program continued to celebrate the accomplishments of past shipmates and to keep creating the success of our future. The evening concluded with another naval tradition: the oldest and youngest Sailor in the room cut the ceremonial birthday cake. This year’s Senior Veteran Sailor was Mr. Frank Boffi, a decorated WWII Veteran, and the youngest was Ensign Christina Petro, a recent Naval Academy Graduate. Bravo Zulu!

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