News: Sayreville Marine honors ties and tradition with US Seabees in Afghanistan
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Bill Underwood, a retired Marine from Sayreville, gave Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, Det. 4, deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, a very rare and sentimental gift to honor our history and heritage.
The gift which will be cherished for years to come was a framed original copy of the Song of the Seabees booklet written in 1943.
In the past Underwood worked closely with the Seabees when he served in the Marine Corps. He realizes the importance of keeping military heritage and tradition alive in a time where the mission is different, the technology is more advanced and that sometimes tradition is sometimes forgotten.
Camaraderie between services is the one thing that is the same today as it was during Underwood’s time in the Marines. It brings us together when we serve side by side with other units and services to support the larger mission.
This gift will not only display the bond between Underwood and NMCB 3, but also the larger bond between Marines and Navy Seabees that has existed since the Seabees were created in 1942 to support the Marines World War II.
In 1943, Sam M. Lewis wrote lyrics for the “Song of the Seabees” and it has been a cherished tradition. Sung at official functions, ceremonies or celebrations, such as the annual Seabee Ball or when a Seabee receives their Seabee Combat Warfare Qualification, it marks our pride, heritage and esprit de corps.
Cmdr. Thomas Bestafka the NMCB 3, Det. 4 Officer in Charge, a New Jersey native, presented the booklet to his detachment on behalf of Underwood on morning of May 3. After the presentation the Seabees gathered around the framed book for a photograph.
The book is currently displayed in the Seabee command post in Bagram and will be surrounded by photos of Seabees in NMCB 3 Det. 4 who have earned their Seabee Combat Warfare Qualification during their deployment to Afghanistan.
The tradition of the “Song of the Seabees” has been passed down since our beginning, and represents the reputation we proudly boast today. NMCB 3 Det. 4 Seabees are very grateful for this gift.
NMCB 3 Det. 4 is currently deployed throughout Afghanistan in support of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan.
NMCB 3 is an expeditionary element of U.S. Naval Forces providing construction, engineering and security services in support of national strategy, naval power projection, humanitarian assistance and contingency operations.