News: Dental Corps retiree leaves with a smile
Story by Pfc. Joey Mendez
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A more than 30-year naval career reached its final destination, July 13, at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va.
Navy Capt. Floyd G. Campen retired as the senior dental executive for the Operational Health Support Unit in Portsmouth, Va.
In 1979 Campen was commissioned as an ensign. In May of 1983 he graduated with his degree officially declaring him a doctor of dental surgery.
“It’s only for your efforts that I am successful in my 30- year career with the Marine Corps, seabees, and the Navy,” said Campen in reference to his supporters.
During the ceremony Campen received citations from President Barack Obama, the Governor of Virginia, Robert F. Mcdonnell, Senators of Virginia, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Congressman Randy Forbes, and Retired Rear Adm. Maurice B. Hill.
Retired Rear Adm. Lewis L. Libby spoke about Campen and said whenever they needed a person for a deployment Campen was the one to volunteer. Libby said Campen loved to deploy and be in the dirt and never complained about it.
“Often times he would ask to go back,” added Libby.
Campen’s deployments include one in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a humanitarian deployment to Louisiana for hurricane relief.He also deployed with the 22nd Marine Service Support Group aboard the USS Ponce to various regions in Central America.
“For me I can hardly imagine the Navy without you,” said Libby.
Campen has been to many duty stations throughout his career. He served in Norfolk, Va., Bethesda, Md., Marietta, Ga., Port Hueneme, Calif. and with the 2nd Dental Battalion at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Before closing out his retirement ceremony, Campen thought twice and decided to tell a story one last time to make his friends smile as he always had.
Campen began to tell his story of when he was a young ensign and saw a sailor in the distance and said “that’s a chief and I am an ensign, I don’t have to salute him.”
Continuing he explained how he got within five feet of the chief and said “hey what’s going on?” and continued to have a casual conversation.
After the conversation Campen then got confronted by a commander and was told, “Hey the next time you see an admiral you might want to give the proper salutations.”
With everyone smiling, clapping and laughing Campen left the podium and concluded his retirement speech.
Campen’s awards he has earned over his more than 30-year career include a Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal with two stars in lieu of third award, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Arctic Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Alaska Service Medal, Rifle Marksmanship Medal and Expert Pistol Marksmanship Medal.