Naval Medical Center San Diego honored its Sailors of the Year last week.
“Through the efforts and support of my chain-of-command, they’ve taken the time to recognize me,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kevin Matthews, Junior Sailor of the Year. “However, I would suggest that this isn’t just an individual achievement, but a collection of a great number of efforts, on a great number of people, and I am very humbled and grateful to be here.”
Senior Sailor of the Year was Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Joseph Vargas, who said: “I can accredit my leadership, and not just my current leadership here, but my leadership over the past 16 years in the Navy, that helped mold me and guide me to where I am now.
“Also, without my family’s support I wouldn’t have been able to stay late and do what I needed to do to take care of my Sailors, myself, and my career. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”
Representatives of directorates within the command recounted actions and attitudes of their respective SOYs, as they were congratulated by command leadership Dec. 11 in the hospital’s executive dining room.
“It is outstanding to see and learn about all the amazing things you all have done,” said Capt. Bradford Smith, commanding officer. “It’s so great to see all the people who came out to support you. We can’t do this alone, we can’t do this without our leadership and our families.”
“We also want to ask that you realize how important it is that you trust your leadership and let them develop you, so that you may continue training those who work alongside you to get this award, and continue looking out for your shipmates, which I know you are because that’s why you all are being recognized for this great accomplishment,” said Smith.
During the ceremony, each honoree received plaques and certificates from the command. With the support of two sponsors, the San Diego Navy League and USAA, the sailors were presented gift cards and coins as a token of appreciation.
The banquet was hosted by the San Diego Navy League to recognize NMCSD sailors who demonstrated outstanding performance as both sailors and role models who displayed the Navy’s core values — “Honor, Courage and Commitment.”
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