Sailors help maintain America’s advantage at sea. This means they do not always get to celebrate holidays with their loved ones. A San Jose, California native serving in the United States Navy will celebrate the holidays with their fellow sailors aboard USS Lake Champlain.
“To me, the holidays mean family,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Banuelos. “Being with loved ones and getting into the holiday spirit is what it’s all about. The holidays are a time to spread love and joy where it is most needed. Each year I create traditions and memories that will last a lifetime. My favorite holiday memory is spending Christmas with my wife and our family. We decorated our tree while listening to Christmas music and dancing.”
Banuelos wants family back home to know they are missed this holiday season.
“I miss my wife very much,” said Banuelos. “I just want to giver her and all our family in San Diego and San Jose a big hug. I hope you all have an amazing time this year. Even though we won’t be together this holiday season, my wife is always with me in my heart. I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas with her next year and the many years after that.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Banuelos, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance.
“To me, serving in the Navy means to serve a purpose greater than myself,” added Banuelos. “It means to not just help one, but many people through hard work and sacrifice.”