Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mike Pernick

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) Combined Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee held a festival celebrating Caribbean culture at the Bremerton Liberty Center at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in honor of Caribbean American Heritage Month, July 14.

The festival featured music, decorations representing different Caribbean Islands and lunch, including popular Caribbean dishes such as curried chicken, jerk chicken, plantains, and peas and rice.

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Destiny Berthoud, from Atlanta, Georgia, president of the Stennis Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee, said it’s important to have events like this because it gives Sailors an opportunity to learn about the diversity of their shipmates.

“We represent many different islands including Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico and we need to recognize all of them,” said Berthoud. “It’s summer, it’s a great day and that’s representative of the Caribbean. We’re very family oriented and love to have fun so that’s what we’re going to do here today.”

President George W. Bush signed a proclamation making June the official Caribbean American Heritage Month, June 5, 2006, dedicating the month to honoring the Caribbean Americans that have played an important part of the nation’s history.

The Combined Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee plans on hosting similar events on a monthly basis.

John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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