Ceremony held at Naval Health Clinic at Cherry Point
Corwin “Bud” Strong retired from the U.S. Navy in 1950, but in a big way, he never left.
“It’s like old home,” he said. “I feel part of them. Even though I have been away for a long time, my heart’s still with the Navy.”
Strong, 88, of New Bern, was among members of the Navy League of the United States, Coastal Carolina Council, who attended a special ceremony Tuesday at Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point to celebrate the 240th anniversary of the Navy.
“We are very happy and very pleased to participate in it,” Strong said. “It still reminds me of my days being in the Navy and I’m proud to be back here.
“I was in the medical corps and duty with the Marine Corps as Fleet Marine was beyond belief. I will tell you that there is nothing like it, serving in the Marine Corps with the Marines. It’s a wonderful group of people. I’m just very happy to be near Cherry Point. When I retired, I looked for a retirement area that had a military base, an airport and near the ocean, and Cherry Point fit all these categories.”
Strong was one of four to participate in a ceremonial cake-cutting at the clinic, marking the birthday.
“We cut the cake with a sword to symbolize that we are a band of warriors,” said Capt. Angela Nimmo, commanding officer of the health clinic. “Our mission here at the Naval Health Clinic is to support the Navy warfighters, but the mission of the United States Navy is forward deployed, and ready then, ready now, ready always.”
Nimmo addressed about 75 personnel and special guests for the ceremony.
“We look really good for 240 years don’t we?” Nimmo said.
She then gave the attendees a little history lesson of how the Navy started on Oct. 13, 1775 with two sailing vessels with 10 cannons and 80 sailors.
“Originally when we first set up the U.S. Navy, it was to intercept the British ships who were bringing supplies and munitions to North America,” Nimmo said. “That was the initial intent of the U.S. Navy when they first established that. If you look back over 240 years, all the places that we have been, all the things that we have done, it’s amazing.”
She mentioned the Navy is going places never before thought of, such as the arctic.
“We are putting more and more resources there. We have figured out how to survive in the cold,” Nimmo said. “We have definitely come a long way. Our biggest assets are our sailors, our people. It’s the diversity of our forces. It’s the commitment, the courage and the honor that we all have to serve in the military.”
She took special note of the Navy’s 2015 theme of “ready then, ready now, ready always.”
“Happy Birthday everyone and take a day to thank your fellow shipmate for the work that they do and the work that we all do and be proud of being in the United States Navy,” she said. “And for those that have served in the past. Thank you all for your service.”