'Best of What America Offers'


March 2012


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Editor’s note: This story was submitted by SIU member Todd Curry, who recently upgraded to chief cook. He sailed as an SA aboard the Lummus and is a 2000 graduate of the unlicensed apprentice program at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education.

When I came home from my last deployment on the MV Green Cove, I found a package from General Dynamics-American Overseas Marine (AMSEA). When I open it, I was surprised to find a letter from the company regarding my service aboard the USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus during a relief mission to Haiti following the tragic earthquake there.

Included in the package was a certificate from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration certifying that I along with the other crew members of the Lummus was being issued the Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement for service provided in Operation Unified Response.

While receiving this recognition is an honor, I know in my heart that what we did by answering the call for Operation Unified Response – after such a tragic, life-changing event for the people of Haiti – was the humane thing to do, and that’s what’s really important. I am sure that the actions and kindness of all the individuals involved in this special mission will have a lasting effect on the people of Haiti, and I’m proud and honored to have had the chance to be part of it.

I also would like to thank my SIU brothers and sisters from the Lummus along with the military personnel whom we carried during this mission. It is such a special thing to see firsthand the best of what America offers not only to fellow Americans, but to the whole world in the aftermath of disasters like the Haiti earthquake. It is because of each individual, both in the U.S. Merchant Marine and in the military, carrying out their duties and going above and beyond countless times, that the mission proved successful.



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