Seven months ago the world was ringing in 2017 and looking forward to another healthy and prosperous new year. The crew and family of the USS Bataan however did not have the same optimistic feelings for 2017. When we all celebrated and rang in 2017 the crew and families of the USS Bataan were packing their bags and getting ready for a seven month deployment. The sailors missed Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day with their loved ones. They were protecting our freedoms oversees when we welcomed the first day of spring, the first day of summer and even the first day of fall. The sailors missed their children’s spring break, end of school year awards, last day of school, the entire summer and first day of school. The sailors missed seven months of births, birthdays, anniversaries and so many other precious moments they will never be able to get back. The sailors of the USS Bataan spent seven months protecting and serving the American people. All I can say is THANK YOU to the sailors and families of the USS Bataan.