Senior Chief Petty Officer Vilma T. Rodriguez speaks with President Barack Obama over the phone Christmas day, while celebrating the holiday at a friend's place on Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan. "In my 18 - almost 19 - years in the Navy I've never experienced anything like this," said Rodriguez. "To receive a call from the president, it's a big deal. It's an honor." Rodriguez was nominated for her admirable performance during Operation Damayan, the military relief effort in the Republic of the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. During the operation, she returned to Tacloban, one of the hardest hit areas as well as her hometown. Denying her personal desire to search for her brother, missing since the storm hit the region, she dedicated herself to the vital relief mission. Rodriguez is an independent duty corpsman at the Camp Kinser Group Aid Station, and belongs to Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Lawrence W. Watters/RELEASED)
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CAMP SHIELDS, OKINAWA, JP
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