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USS Wasp sailors honor Navy veteran with burial-at-sea ceremony

Sailors conduct a burial-at-sea ceremony aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp in the Atlantic Ocean, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017.

SEAN GALBREATH/U.S. NAVY PHOTO

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 30, 2017

Sailors from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp honored a Navy veteran with a burial-at-sea ceremony this week in the Atlantic Ocean.

The cremated remains of Conrad Strub, who served as a photographer’s mate on the aircraft carrier USS Wasp in the 1950s, were laid to rest early Wednesday as the warship headed to its new homeport in Japan. He died in 2015 at age 82 in Douglas, Ga.

“It’s the best way I can honor someone who served before me and made sacrifices,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Gillespie, who played taps on the bugle during the ceremony, said in a Navy statement. “If there’s something I can do to honor someone in this capacity, then that’s what I’m going to do. There’s a connection between us — they set the standard which I have to uphold now.”

Burial at sea is among the highest honors and respects paid to former servicemembers, Navy officials said. Sea burials were originally used due to a lack of proper means to bury sailors.

Today, active-duty servicemembers, retirees and veterans who were honorably discharged, as well as their dependents, can request the service.

The Wasp is heading to Sasebo, Japan, where it will replace the USS Bonhomme Richard as the forward-deployed flagship of 7th Fleet’s amphibious forces. The Wasp’s deployment to its new homeport in the Pacific was delayed earlier this fall as it assisted in hurricane-relief efforts in the Caribbean.

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Petty Officer 3rd Class Andre Parrish of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp prepares to bury the cremains of Navy veteran Conrad Strub in the Atlantic Ocean, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017.
LEVINGSTON LEWIS/U.S. NAVY PHOTO

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