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By Navy Chief MCS Steve Johnson

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Blue Angels Make Perfect Landing at Children's Hospital
(May 13, 2011)

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May 6, 2011 - Lt. Jason Smith, center, and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class John Mocek, both members of the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, visit with young patients at Children's Hospital New Orleans during New Orleans Navy Week 2011.
May 6, 2011 - Lt. Jason Smith, center, and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class John Mocek, both members of the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, visit with young patients at Children's Hospital New Orleans during New Orleans Navy Week 2011.
NEW ORLEANS (NNS - 5/11/2011) -- The Navy Blue Angels brought out the smiles of patients at Children's Hospital in New Orleans May 6 when they visited more than a dozen patients there.

Lt. Jason Smith, flight surgeon for the Blue Angels, and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class John Mocek, squadron corpsman, spent part of Friday morning, going from room to room in the children's oncology ward, delivering Blue Angels' souvenirs and sharing stories with 16 patients and their families.

The Blue Angels were the featured attraction at the N'Awlins Centennial of Naval Aviation Air Show May 7-8 at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Belle Chase, which is located just south of New Orleans.
Smith underscored the importance of reaching out to local youth whenever the Blue Angels come to town.

"When we're at an air show, one of the coolest things is seeing how kids respond when they see the jets fly by, how loud they are, and the maneuvers they perform," said Smith. "Unfortunately, some of the kids can't come out because they are sick. So by coming to the hospital, we get to bring some of the excitement to the kids who otherwise would like to be there."

Mocek echoed Smith's sentiment.

"I love doing this. It gives us the chance to get out and meet the children," said Mocek. "Yes, we are a recruiting tool for the Navy. But for the kids who can't come out and see the air show, we bring a little bit of the air show to them."

Hospital officials welcomed the Navy Blue Angels visit.

"In this oncology unit, to have Navy Blue Angels pilots visit and come into their rooms, it helps break up the monotony of the day for these kids," said Nichole Marinello, special events coordinator at Children's Hospital. "Many of the children can't leave their room, so to have visitors come to them is a big deal and it's a really special treat to have the Navy Blue Angels here today."

Other Blue Angels team members visited students at high schools in the New Orleans area.

Article and photo By Navy Chief MCS Steve Johnson
Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs
Copyright 2011

Reprinted from Navy News Service

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