The following post was submitted by HAL’s traveling Human Resources Manager Sheldon James, acknowledging the nine Veterans currently serving as crew members on board Amsterdam. Due to an Internet transmission problem, it was not received in time to be published along with our other Veteran’s Day posts. We sincerely apologize because we appreciate the sacrifices of all who serve in the military and believe they deserve recognition on their holiday.
In addition to several respectful services and gifts for Amsterdam’s guests surrounding Veterans/Remembrance/Armistice Day, the ship’s staff deemed it equally appropriate to recognize Veterans and Service Men and Women from amongst their own staff and crew on board. This led to collective service years totaling 110, and brought together Army, Navy, Air Force and Police ranging from 30- to 2-year tenures.
Each received a commemorative gold-plated silver coin customized for this voyage by Northwest Territorial Mint, in addition to a poppy lapel pin.
“Recognizing our staff and crew’s dedication and services in support of our collective freedom is equally important to those of our guests,” said Hotel Manager Henk Mensink.
Julie Berndsen also volunteered to read the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ during the morning service, which left many emotions stirred amongst all those in attendance.
Ample commendation was received on board regarding the appropriate and courteous approach to this day, which only more so added to the grandeur and style of the Grand Voyage.
The 9 recipients of the commemorative coin flanked by Ships Staff representative and Hotel Manager Henk J. Mensink, in order of service years:
Norman Doerksen – Security Officer – 30 years, Policing (Peace keeping) in Calgary, Canada
Jonathan Mark Bailey – SEH Officer – 23 years, British Royal Navy, Chief Petty Officer – Weapons Engineering Mechanic (ordinance)
Anil Kumar Vasudevan – Security Guard, 15 years Indian Navy, Petty Officer – Meteorologist
Julie Michelle Berndsen – HR Manager, 9 years British Royal Air force, Senior Aircraft Woman – Dental Nurse
Jason Korn – Lead Medical Officer, 7 years US Army, Sergeant – Combat Medic Dessert Storm
Evan Dain – Musician, 6 years US Navy, Yeoman 3rd class – Administration
Ruben Luscares – Apprentice Cook, 5 years Filipino Army, Sergeant – Jungle Fighter
Antonio Tijerina – Medical Officer, 3 years US Navy, E 3 (Enlisted man) Photographers Mate/10 years USCG reserve – E4 ( Petty Officer 3rd Class ) Port Security
Jacques Louw – Cellar Master, 2 years South African Army (Infantry), Lieutenant – Mess Supervisor
Card text: “Created especially for you by the Northwest Territorial Mint, this commemorative medallion of .999 fine silver and plated in 24kt gold, honors and thanks all who serve in the Armed Forces, service Veterans, support organizations and civilians alike. May this heirloom treasure remind us of their dedication to the cause of world peace and reflects on the sacrifice that Veterans have made in service to their country. Wear the accompanying Poppy Lapel Pin tomorrow, November 11, in remembrance of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure freedom and peace.”
Sheldon James is HAL’s traveling human resources manager.