65th Eng. Bn. re-enlists aboard ‘Mighty Mo’ with national flag

| December 16, 2010 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Norman Inch, 95th Eng. Route Clearance Co., 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, repeats his Oath of Re-enlistment in front of the national 9-11 flag, aboard the USS Missouri, Dec. 7.

Staff Sgt. Norman Inch, 95th Eng. Route Clearance Co., 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, repeats his Oath of Re-enlistment in front of the national 9-11 flag, aboard the USS Missouri, Dec. 7.

Story and Photo by
1st Lt. Brigida Sanchez
65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade,  8th Theater Sustainment Command 

 

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — A special American flag hung – tattered, torn, hole-ridden and dust-stained – on Pier Foxtrot-Five, here, Dec. 7.

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen performed a mass re-enlistment at the foot of its stitching, while commemorating Pearl Harbor Day.

On this beautiful Hawaiian afternoon, when thousands of people toured Pearl Harbor to honor the anniversary of when the Japanese attacked the U.S. in 1941, the USS Missouri hosted a special re-enlistment ceremony on its fantail.

The purpose was to “restore, empower and inspire” Americans by using the 30-foot American flag that was destroyed when the Twin Towers collapsed, Sept. 11, 2001.

The ceremony provided a unique and memorable opportunity for service members to re-enlist in front of a flag that inspires national pride.

“This was a very rare and special opportunity that presented itself,” said Sgt. 1st Class Paul Cortez, career counselor, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

Soldiers from the 65th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Bde., were originally scheduled to re-enlist on the USS Arizona Memorial. However, Cortez was notified that the battalion’s Soldiers would be able to participate in a mass re-enlistment ceremony in front of the 9/11 flag.

Mike Pagano, military liaison for the USS Missouri, saw the event as an opportune moment to honor re-enlisting service members.

“We had service members requesting re-enlistment ceremonies throughout the week, and I thought, why not give them the chance to take their oath in front of a national monument,” Pagano said.

Sgt. 1st Class Paul Tuimavave, platoon sergeant, 95th Eng. Route Clearance Company, 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., was one of the four Soldiers from the battalion that participated and renewed his oath of enlistment in front of the flag.

“It was a great honor to be sworn in, in front of the 9/11 flag,” Tuimavave said.

“The ceremony was beautiful, and I felt very special and honored,” said Tuimavave’s wife, Lea, adding that she was especially proud of her husband for his dedication and service.

She also was presented a Certificate of Appreciation for supporting her husband, a longstanding Army tradition that recognizes the service and sacrifice of family members.

The “New York Says ‘Thank You’ Foundation” arranged the flag’s tour.

The group is attempting to restore the original flag that hung from the World Trade Center, by using pieces of fabric from flags scheduled for retirement from throughout the 50 states.

 

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