DECEMBER 28, 2020 – Sailors assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, received a video teleconference call (VTC) from President Donald Trump while forward deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, Dec. 25.
Sailors and officers accompanied Cdr. Jeremy Lyon, commanding officer of VP-8, on a VTC with the President, including Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Lauren Lucas, the command’s Sailor of the Year, Information Systems Technician 1st Class Dillon Dance, the command’s combat support Sailor of the year, and Naval Aircrewman (operator) 2nd Class Nate Dresbach.
The Sailors were hand-selected for the VTC because of their contribution to squadron success.
“It was an absolute honor and privilege to coordinate with the White House to not only set up the VTC, but to be one of the few Sailors selected to represent the U.S. Navy,” said Dance. “I am extremely proud to be a Fighting Tiger and I can honestly say this is a Christmas I’ll never forget.”
On behalf of the entire nation, the President saluted each of the service branches for their service and sacrifice. The President also took the time to individually recognize VP-8.
“These incredible naval aviators patrol waterways and conflict zones from the Middle East to East Asia, protecting merchants, capturing terrorists, and stopping the spread of chemical biological and nuclear weapons,” said Trump. “Nobody does it better, the entire world is grateful for your vigilant and brilliant service.”
Dresbach said it was an honor to have the President take the time to talk with members of the command, as it helps to reinforce and gain perspective on the work done each day.
“This is a great honor for these junior Sailors and VP-8 to have this opportunity to speak to the President of the United States of America on Christmas,” said Culinary Specialist Master Chief Timothy Hardin, VP-8’s command master chief. This will raise the spirits of these Sailors during this deployment and holiday period away from families and friends. This doesn’t happen every day for Sailors. Tiger, Tiger!!!”
The commander’s responded in kind, wishing the president a Merry Christmas on behalf of their Sailors, Marines, airmen, soldiers, and guardians.
“It is a once in a lifetime experience and true honor to represent the Navy during this call with the President of the United States,” said Lyon. “The Sailors have been working extremely hard to operate at their full potential during this holiday period and to hear the President recognize their efforts brings a lot of pride to what they do every day. I could not be more proud of this Fighting Tiger Team in both Bahrain and Japan.”
The President concluded the call by thanking the entire military for their service and wished all of the members of the armed forces a very Merry Christmas.
VP-8 departed Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 15 for a regularly scheduled dual-site deployment.
VP-8 is currently forward deployed out of Misawa, Japan in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of Commander, Task Force 72, C7F, and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command objectives throughout the region. While forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet areas of operations, VP-8 operates in support of Commander, Task Force (CTF) 57 in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic chokepoints to the free flow of global commerce.
From Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8)