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National Guard Soldiers ready to deploy on ‘Love Boat’


The U.S. government has contracted with Paradise Cruise Lines for their luxury, ocean-going cruise ship the Grand Celebration.  Until the end of December, Grand Celebration will be used to feed, house, and transport National Guard Soldiers supporting hurricane recovery efforts in the Caribbean.  An unknown number of Soldiers will call this cruise ship their “home away from home” for the next three months.

Under contract to FEMA, “Celebration” is the only ship in the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s fleet and is home-ported in Palm Beach, Florida.  The 1,900-passenger ship will now be in direct support of Soldiers rebuilding and providing security to the U.S. territories devastated by two enormous hurricanes.

“Celebration” will arrive in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., Saturday, September 23.  The cruise liner was initially scheduled to stay until the end of the year but after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 with winds of 155 mph, tore through Puerto Rico today, the ship’s contract might need to be extended.  The entire island of three million people is officially without power.

It is unknown how much FEMA paid for the three-month contract for the Grand Celebration, but tourists cruising to the devastated islands will be almost non-existent for months. The Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines just made the deal of a lifetime.

The units of National Guard Soldiers who will be housed aboard the Grand Celebration have yet to be identified.


Navy corpsmen fired for posting newborns’ photos on Snapchat


Allyson Thompson, 21, and Joanie Barrett Fender, 23, two Navy corpsmen who earlier this week worked at Naval Hospital Jacksonville (Florida) have been fired. Mocking newborn infants in their care and calling them “mini-Satans”, the two then posted illegal photos of the babies on Snapchat and Facebook. The two corpsmen not only broke the “trust bank” but several HIPAA laws and hospital rules as well.  Several news outlets incorrectly identified the corpsmen yesterday as nurses.

Their actions prompted a social media outcry from hundreds of thousands of concerned readers and also prompted immediate changes at Navy hospitals around the globe.  Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, the Navy’s Surgeon General and “Top Doc” has now banned all workers’ cell phones in patient areas; a move some believe was long past due.  All medical staff in the Navy are in an active and mandatory “stand down” for immediate retraining and review of oaths and hospital procedures.

Vice Admiral Faison:

“I have directed immediate mandatory all-hands stand downs within 48 hours at all Navy Medicine commands to review our oaths, our pledges, our reasons for serving, as well as Navy Medicine’s policy regarding use of personally owned phones and other recording devices.”

“At every level of the enterprise, we must send a clear message that Navy and Navy Medicine leadership take every allegation of offensive and unacceptable online conduct seriously and will hold responsible individuals accountable for their actions.” published this:

Faison ordered all commanding officers across the Navy hospital system to “personally contact” both current and expecting mothers who plan to deliver at a Navy facility — potentially thousands of patients worldwide — to “reassure them, inform them of our actions, and address any of their concerns.”

He also ordered leaders to “ensure no additional patient photos exist on social media” and remove any that do.

It should be noted that the Navy provides healthcare services to not only the Navy but also the United States Marine Corps.

Video inside this link of corpsmen forcing infant to “dance”.


Deadly week for America’s warriors during training exercises


The massive clean-up and recovery efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have consumed the 24-hour news cycle the last two weeks, but for those who pay attention to military-related news, the list of tragic events for U.S. troops, right here at home is staggering.  The military is actively investigating three military training incidents this week, two of which involved fatalities.

Yesterday, the Army released the identity of a soldier who died Tuesday night during medevac training at the Robert Gray Army Airfield in Fort Hood.  SSG Sean Devoy, a medic with the 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, died when he fell during hoist training.  Devoy, a medic with C Company was conducting training with an HH-60M Blackhawk medical evacuation helicopter when the accident occurred.

The grim news of SSG Devoy’s death was followed by a mass casualty event aboard Camp Pendleton.  One Sailor and 14 Marines were burned when their amphibious vehicle caught fire during a training accident.  The Marines all from the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion were conducting a combat readiness evaluation at Camp Pendleton when their amphibious vehicle ignited.

Three of the injured are in critical condition at the University of California San Diego Burn Center.  Four other Marines were taken to University of California Irvine Medical Center where two of the Marines are listed in critical condition.  One service member was rushed to a hospital in La Jolla.  Two Marines sustained lesser injuries and were treated at the base hospital aboard Camp Pendleton.

Friday, Sept. 14, a training accident at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, injured seven Soldiers and took the life of another.  SSG Alexander Dalida was killed while conducting demolitions training on base.  SSG Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Massachusetts, was enrolled in the Special Forces Qualification Course at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

Four of the injured Soldiers at Fort Bragg remain hospitalized at Womack Army Hospital.

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