WWII veteran receives ‘Heart of a Hero’ award

Retired Rear Adm. Lloyd "Joe" Vasey, a Hawaii resident and World War II veteran, is escorted by Cmdr. Kurt Chivers from Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, as he arrives at the Navy Hale Keiki School (NHKS). Vasey was presented with the first "Heart of a Hero" award by the Young Patriot's Club during a ceremony May 17.

Story and photo by MC2 Ronald Gutridge

Commander Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office

The Young Patriot’s Club of Navy Hale Keiki School (NHKS) presented the first “Heart of a Hero” award to retired Rear Adm. Lloyd “Joe” Vasey, a Hawaii resident and World War II veteran, during an awards ceremony May 17 at NHKS.

The idea of the Heart of a Hero award was designed and generated by the students in grades first through fourth of NHKS Young Patriot’s Club to honor local military heroes. Vasey was chosen to be the first recipi-

ent based on his military service and heroic attributes such as bravery, honesty and selfless contributions to the community.

“This award is very special to me because it was presented by students that represent the future of America,” Vasey said. “These children displayed true patriotism, and I am very honored to be here today.”

Vasey’s naval career included a wide spectrum of assignments starting on the Iowa-class battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) on which he was part of the original crew, making him a plank owner.

He later served on various ships and submarines, including the Gato-class submarine, USS Gunnel (SS-253) where he was the executive officer for their fourth war patrol from May 1944 to July 1944.

Next he served as the commanding officer of the all-gun heavy cruiser, USS St. Paul (CA-73) from September 1964 to June 1965 and later as commander of the supply ship USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) from 1961-1962.

Monique Raduziner, NHKS Young Patriot’s Club founder and group mentor, created the club in 2007 to offer students a chance to recognize and increase their awareness and importance of the history that surrounds their school and serves the military community.

Students received instructions from Sailors from Naval Submarine Support Command on how to render honors and proudly “rang aboard” and saluted Vasey as part of the day’s ceremonies.

“The Young Patriot’s Club wanted to honor a true hero, and when they learned the history about Rear Adm. Vasey, they knew right then that he would be the perfect recipient for this award,” Raduziner said.

“The excitement and enthusiasm they displayed while doing their research truly showed that they all thought that he definitely has a heart of a hero.”

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Category: News