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Wreaths Across America Day 2023

USMC Marine Renders Honors and Salutes the Mother of the Fleet of the United States Navy, Verna M. Linzey, and Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr. on Wreaths Across America Day

On Saturday, December 16, 2023, the United States Navy ‘Mother of the Fleet,’ the late Verna M. Linzey, D.D., was honored and saluted by PFC Gabriel Pangle, USMC at Wreaths Across America ceremony, hosted by Miramar National Cemetery. He also rendered honors to Verna’s husband, the late Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr., CHC, USN (Ret.), who was a World War II hero as a survivor of the sinking of the USS Yorktown in the Battle of Midway.

The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and to teach the next generation the value of freedom. On National Wreaths Across America Day, active duty military personnel and volunteers gather in about 3,000 communities across America to place wreaths at the headstones of national heroes to commemorate them and keep the memory of them alive, lest their contributions to national security and efforts to protect American’s freedoms be forgotten.

What Verna Linzey did was build the largest Sunday School in the United States Navy at Naval Air Station Moffett Field, California. Adding to this seemingly impossible task was that she did it in two years from 1968 to 1970. For this incredible feat, Admiral Frederick C. Johnson, USN, awarded Verna Linzey the title “Mother of the Fleet of the United States Navy.” “Fleet” is a metaphor for the student body of 100 students, which included all the grade levels of dependent children and active duty personnel.

How this contributes to national security is by spiritually equipping active duty personnel for war. Also, when their children’s spiritual needs are being met, their active duty fathers and mothers can better focus on deployments and national security.

Organizations that support or partner with Wreaths Across American include American Gold Star Mothers, Civil Air Patrol, Young Marines, Gold Star Wives of America, United We Stand to Win, Daughters of the American Revolution, Military Women’s Memorial and Grove, Patriot Guard Riders, United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, and Military Bible Association.

Last Saturday about 4,000 military personnel and civilians, including Chaplain (MAJ) James F. Linzey, USA (Ret.), gathered at Miramar National Cemetery just outside MCAS Miramar, San Diego, to remember Verna Linzey and about 16,000 other heroes who have fought for America and contributed in vital ways to America’s national security.

PFC Gabriel Pangle, USMC, who was selected to place the wreaths and render honors to Verna Linzey and Stanford Linzey, is considered to be the most highly distinguished and honored Marine at MCAS Miramar in San Diego, California.

Source: Military Bible Association. Previously published at Christian Newswire.

More about the author: Commander Don Biadog, CHC, USN (Ret.) served with distinction as a former Command Chaplain of MCAS Miramar. His ministry earned him the 2018 Chaplain of the Year Award from Military Bible Association and the 2023 Veterans of Foreign Wars Chaplain of the Year Award. He was the emcee and host chaplain for the 2018 Verna Linzey Commemoration Banquet, which was an official United States Marine Corp event at MCAS Miramar, San Diego, California.

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Category: Fall 2023, Get Involved

About the Author: Commander Manuel “Don” A. Biadog, CHC, USN (Ret.), served under the supervision of Captain Russell P. Spittler, CHC, USN, and was one of his students at Fuller Theological Seminary. He retired from the US Navy while serving as the Command Chaplain, MCAS Miramar, San Diego, California, having served for nearly 30 years with honors and the recognition of the president of the United States. Chaplain Biadog is a Southern Baptist minister and a delegate from the SBC to mentor SBC military chaplains throughout the world. He was the first chaplain to use the Modern English Version as a pew Bible in the United States Armed Forces.

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