HMC Pamela Branum - Departing

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krnl
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HMC Pamela Branum - Departing

Post by krnl »

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/06/portsmo ... -promotion
PORTSMOUTH

Friends and colleagues will gather today at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center to remember a Navy corpsman who died while deployed on a humanitarian mission with the hospital ship Comfort.

Chief Petty Officer Pamela Branum, 41, served in Pensacola, Fla.; Guam, and, most recently, in Portsmouth.

She died June 2, in her sleep, aboard the Comfort. Her shipmates learned later that she had been promoted to senior chief that same day.

The investigation into her death is ongoing, but it appears to be natural causes, a Navy spokesman said. She will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery after the Comfort returns.

The executive officer of the Comfort, Capt. John Larnerd, posted news of Branum's death on his blog last week. Larnerd said Branum was responsible for managing staff rotations, a major job on a ship with more than 500 personnel.

"Working just a few feet outside my office door, I saw her every day and was always impressed by her competence, her work ethic and her dedication to this important mission," Larnerd wrote. "She will be greatly missed."

He described the departure of her flag-draped casket, loaded onto a helicopter and flown off the ship in Panama. "As the helicopter's blades began to turn, two bells sounded and on the [intercom]: 'Hospital Corpsman Chief, Departing,' rang throughout the ship," Larnerd wrote on his blog.

More than 50 people, many of them current or former shipmates, left tributes on the site.

Her father, Larry T. Branum, posted one, too:

"Pam never quite felt like she was truly making a difference. She would say 'Just doing my job, and I love my job.' Obviously, those of you who knew her (many of whom I have met) know that she did indeed make a difference in many lives over the years. I think she had a much greater impact than she ever realized," he wrote.

He finished the tribute with a traditional naval phrase, used at retirements and promotions: "Fair winds and following seas, baby girl."
:pirate: Go Navy! :pirate:

Rick Sandlin (Formerly FCC(SW))
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