July 5, 2011 —
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas visited The Grand Bahama Children’s Home in Freeport June 30 to make a donation to the home on behalf of USNORTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program.
Admiral James Winnefeld Jr., and U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant, presented $2,500 worth of clothing, footwear, bedding, games and art supplies for the home’s summer enrichment program. The children also enjoyed patriotic treats, food and a bouncy castle provided by the U.S. Embassy.
The project, which was approved through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, fosters good will with USNORTHCOM’s partner nations, and has become a significant element of the command’s Humanitarian Assistance program and support for the U.S. Mission. USNORTHCOM made a similar humanitarian donation in February to the Simpson Penn Center for Boys in Nassau.
Also on June 30, the U.S. Embassy and USNORTHCOM co-hosted a celebration observing the 235th Anniversary of Independence of the United States of America. The celebration, which was themed, “Celebrating the United States’ Great Military Traditions,” was held aboard the U.S. Naval Ship USS VICKSBURG at Lucayan Harbour, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
U.S. Ambassador Avant, The Honorable A. Kenneth Russell, the Minister for Housing and Member of Parliament for High Rock, Admiral Winnefeld, and Captain Timothy Mahan, Commanding Officer of the USS VICKSBURG, spoke at the event.
The USS VICKSBURG has a rich history dating back to October 1775. Since then the U.S. Navy has grown into the largest naval fleet in the world. Ambassador Avant used the opportunity to highlight the role of the USS VICKSBURG and its crew of men and women who dutifully represent the U.S. Navy and protect the freedom of all Americans. The Ambassador referenced U.S. President Barack Obama who praised the U.S. Armed Forces for their patriotism, valor and honor to country.
“It is not without sacrifice that we are able to maintain our liberties and words cannot describe America’s gratitude to your service,” Ambassador Avant told the guests.
The Ambassador also noted that the celebration is a testament to the longevity of the U.S.-Bahamas friendship, which is based on shared democratic values. In his remarks, Minister Russell reiterated the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect that The Bahamas and the United States enjoy both as friends and neighbors.