Navy celebrates 236th birthday

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Oct. 13 was a special day at Naval Hospital Beaufort as those serving and working at the hospital took time out to celebrate the Navy's 236th Birthday, honoring a rich history.

As part of the traditional ceremony, the oldest and the youngest members of the command help cut the official birthday cake.

"It's a special time because it recognizes the men, women and the families that support the men and women of our armed forces," said Andrew Daniel Harrity.

As the oldest member of the command, Harrity has served the Navy, in one capacity or another, for nearly 60 years. He was the Command Master Chief of the hospital in 1979 before retiring after 29 years of service.

"I loved it," said Harrity. "It was enjoyable, not only that but I felt like I made a difference so it was worthwhile staying."

Because of that love for the Navy, he still works at the hospital as a civilian and has for years.

"It's a wonderful thing to be a part of, it really is," said Harrity.

It's something the youngest member of the command is excited to be a part of as well.

"The Navy is great. It's diverse; it really puts its people first," said HA Jennifer Kerfoot.

While Kerfoot has only been in the Navy less than a year, she says this birthday celebration is special.

"Both of my parents are Navy," said Kerfoot. "My mother is actually retiring on the Nov. 15 so this Birthday is particularly special to our family because it will be her last Navy Birthday as I kind of take over the watch for her."

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