NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month aboard the floating accommodation facility, Sept. 25.
Sailors were able to enjoy meals of Hispanic dishes at the galley such as lobster paella, a Spanish meal comprised of shrimp, fish and spices. The galley was packed as the crew came out for the special lunch.
"Holding events like these lets our Sailors know they are accepted no matter what their ethnic background or what they choose to believe in," said Lt. j.g. Eric Gonzalez, Lincoln's command diversity officer. "Personally, I like the fact that there are many Sailors who are familiar with my heritage and have had the same experiences as me."
Gonzalez is responsible for organizing meetings and events each month to honor different heritages. He said be believes his mission is to influence camaraderie and understanding among Lincoln Sailors because it will make the crew more effective.
Gonzalez said he is excited because it supports his heritage.
"There are many things about Hispanic heritage I enjoy," said Gonzalez. "It makes me feel good to be able to share my heritage's cuisine with my shipmates. It's our way of showing who we are."
Lt. Cmdr. Javier Medina, engineering department's "A" division officer, said he enjoys everything the command diversity counsel is doing to reinforce the importance of diversity and how it directly affects morale.
"These types of events certify that we recognize we have multiple groups of people from around the world," said Medina. "This meal will be very effective in conveying to the Lincoln crew that we're a diverse crew, and we're going to stay that way. That's why we're the world's finest Navy."
Lincoln is currently undergoing a refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.
(c) 2011 Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.
Original headline: Lincoln Sailors Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
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