Reprinted whole from the Castle this morning.
Too many honors and recognition come too late.
It's nice to see some that beat the curve.
Meet Chief Petty Officer David Eberhart.
My fellow Chiefs,
I wanted to share with you this picture as well as a short synopsis of how it came about.
AO1 David Eberhart (pictured) is terminally ill with cancer. I was his Chief for his first tour on the USS INDEPENDENCE and even then his goal in the Navy was to be a Chief Petty Officer. His career, though very successful, has been interrupted with cancer treatment, periods of remission and finally with the news of being terminal.
He is currently assigned to MALS-24 at Kbay. A few months ago he requested to see the MCPON. MCPON Campa happened to be on the island visiting and went to the hospital to see AO1. It was explained to him [MCPON] how badly AO1 wanted to be a Chief and that he even took the Chief's exam from the hospital during a three day period -- he didn't have the strength for more than an hour at a time. On his good days he would put on his uniform and make his way to work though the time there took a severe toll on him physically.
He did not make board as he was six-points shy. It was requested by PACFLT Chiefs that AO1 be made an Honorary Chief Petty Officer. We talked about it in Newport and MCPON was in concurrence. The intent was for MCPON himself to make the presentation.
News came this week that AO1 Eberhart may not make it through the weekend as his health is rapidly declining. FLTCM Tom Howard along with a ton of Chiefs (including CMDCM Don Krampert from CPRW-2) from the area banded together to make this happen as quickly as possible. On Thursday, AO1 David Eberhart was designated an Honorary Chief Petty Officer.
I personally called and talked to Chief David Eberhart following his promotion Thursday and the excitement in his voice came with a strength and commitment that cannot be explained in words. He remembered well our time on the INDY but his short term memory is fading quickly.
Chief Eberhart's terminal prognosis remains listed in days. He is married with two children.
Thank you for all you do.
Aaron A. Shipley
Sailor and Command Master Chief
Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance GROUP
As of this writing, Chief Eberhart is still with us. Which is why I wanted to get this up.
H/t to a Senior Chief for letting me know, and High Five to the Chief community for getting it done. If a bunch of senior NCOs think it's the right thing to do - it usually is wise to go along with them.
Princess Crabby adds her Bravo Zulu to all those involved and her best wishes to Chief Eberhart and his family.