USS Gunston Hall Celebrates Easter At Sea
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman, Amphibious Squadron 8 Public Affairs
USS Gunston Hall, At Sea – Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious dock-landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) celebrated Easter a long way from home, April 8.
Not too far from the coast of Africa, servicemembers joined together on Easter Sunday to attend Protestant and Catholic services provided by chaplains aboard Gunston Hall and from amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima’s (LHD 7) Holy Helo.
Lt. Cmdr. Cerino Bargola, a Navy chaplain and Catholic priest embarked aboard Iwo Jima, was flown to Gunston Hall to provide the Catholic services.
Sailors and Marines who attended services were grateful to have the opportunity to go.
“The service was nice today,” said Seaman Barry Bryant. “When I attend, I feel at peace. I like that I have a place to go and just put all the other distractions aside, even if it’s just for a little while.”
“Service is meaningful and stabilizing for a lot of Sailors and Marines to not only be able to practice their faith on Sundays, but to feel encouraged to do so throughout the week,” said Lt. Jeffrey Augustine, a chaplain aboard Gunston Hall.
“Especially when we are away from our family and friends, there is a greater need for consistency in all areas of our lives,” said Augustine.
Gunston Hall is part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Gunston Hall is currently deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.