This Thanksgiving, amphibious assault ship USS America saw over 1500 pounds of meat, a slew of reenlistments, some eggnog and a reunion of sorts.

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Richard V. Spencer and his wife spent Thanksgiving in the Arabian Gulf with the deployed Sailors and Marines of the USS America and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The SECNAV addressed the entire crew during an all-hands call with morale-boosting praise and a show of gratitude for all their service, particularly during the holidays.

"One of the jobs [my wife] and I have back home is to make sure the civilian world knows what their Navy-Marine Corps team is doing," Spencer told MEU Public Affairs. "Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I think this just epitomizes [your efforts]."

The SECNAV had served as an H-46 pilot with the Marine Corps's first ever tactical helicopter squadron, which, at the time was Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161. Converted to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 in 2009, the VMM-161 is currently the Aviation Combat Element for the 15th MEU, giving Spencer the chance to kind of reunite with his old helicopter squadron.

Among answering questions, addressing the crew, taking a tour and serving up pounds of turkey, ham and prime rib, the SECNAV also performed a mass reenlistment.

"It's a big honor to have the SECNAV come visit us on Thanksgiving," Information Systems Technician 2nd Class, Louis Espinoza told MEU Public Affairs. "But it's an even greater honor to be reenlisted by him."

For more information about this special holiday treat, check out the original article here.

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