I first met Master Chief Don Nuzum at the information desk on the Yorktown over 10 years ago. He was full of his stories and love for the Navy that he served so well for over 20 years. Later I got to know his son, Stan and grandson, Erich, when they joined my scout troop, Troop 20, Mount Pleasant, SC. They are a welcome addition to our troop, and Don was proud of them.
Don went on eternal patrol (a euphemism for death that submariners like to use) on 15 April 2009 and I had just gotten an email from him a few weeks before on the USS Hartford incident in the Persian Gulf. He was one of our loyal cadre of volunteers, who not only shared his stories and love of the Navy, but also recruited others to serve as volunteers aboard Yorktown. The service for him on Yorktown on 20 April was impressive and moving as family members and veteran submariners gathered in Hangar Bay 3 on Yorktown to celebrate his life of service. Click here to see the pictures from his service.
As the service neared its end and just before Don’s ashes were scattered off the port side of Yorktown, a merchant ship entered Charleston Harbor, a priviledge afforded by our Navy’s protection of free navigation around the world. Appropriately, the ship’s name was “Freedom.”
Our grateful nation has many sons and daughters to thank for their service to the country. Their legacy and Don’s legacy to us is an amazing gift that allows us to dream and image a better world for all.