Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 9, 2022

Mother, Daughter spend Mother’s Day aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) during Pacific Partnership 2022

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi

PACIFIC OCEAN -- Ensign Gemelin Lozada and Chief Hospital Corpsman Melinda Canales are a mother-daughter duo currently embarked aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), now underway for Pacific Partnership 2022 (PP22).

For Canales, who has served 19 years in the U.S. Navy, PP22 may be her last full deployment. She hopes this will be an unforgettable experience.

“One of my goals here is to make this one memorable because this is going to be my last [deployment], and this is her first,” said Canales of her daughter. “So, I am happy she is with me for this [mission].”

It is Navy tradition for senior enlisted members to mentor junior officers. For Lozada, Pacific Partnership offers an opportunity to not only serve with her mother but also gives her the chance to grow and persevere professionally under mom’s tutelage.

“Chiefs and junior officers work together anyways, but I have a double layer,” Lozada said.

“I have the support of my mom, but on top of that, she is a chief to mentor me as a junior officer. It is really nice to work within that dynamic and focus on the mission, but I feel lucky that we have each other on the ship.”

Canales said the feelings are mutual. The proud mother says she looks up to the junior officer.

“My daughter is the kind of person I want to be when I grow up,” said Canales.

“She taught me changes are good, and that change is the only permanent thing in the world, and it is okay to change your focus on something else that works for you. Look at her now, she is a nurse, and not just a nurse, a Navy nurse. I am proud of her.”

After spending her childhood moving around to various commands during her mother’s naval career, Lozada never imagined she would join the Navy herself.

“As I grew older, I appreciated the stuff that she was doing as a mother,” Lozada said. “I started to have more of an appreciation toward the military and all that she was able to provide us with. Eventually, I joined the military myself. I have so much more of a newfound appreciation for it. Joining the military was me maturing and really seeing eye-to-eye with my mom.”

The family duo will work in tandem during PP22, caring for patients throughout the Indo-Pacific Region. Lozada, working in patient care, will create connections and work side-by-side with partner and host nation personnel. Canales will ensure PP22 doctors and nurses have all equipment needed to complete the mission.

“We get to show our partners that we are here to help at any time, and I like being able to represent and show what we do,” Lozada said.

Reflecting on everything her mother has accomplished in her Navy career, Lozada says she sees her mom as an inspiration as Lozada moves forward in her own career.

“Growing up, my mom always inspired me to be a strong woman,” Lozada said. “She made it to chief. That is a milestone and breaks the boundaries. She gives me hope that I can fulfill my role as a new officer.”

Deployments mean family members must say goodbye to one another, and Sailors often miss holidays with loved ones throughout the year. This year, Mercy is deployed on Mother’s Day. Canales and Lozada consider it a unique opportunity to celebrate this special occasion together at sea.

“Unlike all of the other mothers on this ship, I get to celebrate Mother’s Day with one of the reasons I am a mother,” Canales said.

“I know this is a Mother’s Day that I will never forget.”

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) is currently underway for Pacific Partnership 2022. Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific.


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. Army Pacific Commander Helps Reopen Land Power Forum, Talks Partnerships
Gen. Charles A. Flynn, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, provides the keynote address for the Land Forces Pacific Symposium in Honolulu May 17, 2022. The symposium, which was held in person for the first time in three years due to the pandemic, is the largest of its kind for armies in the region.
May 18, 2022 - HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) commander lauded the return of the Land Forces Pacific (LANPAC) Symposium here Tuesday, as he marked the first time it has been held in person for three years.“The world...

US Delegation Visits Australia to Enhance Health System Interoperability
Surgeon General Australian Defence Force and Commander Joint Health, Rear Adm. Sarah Sharkey (left) and Rear Adm. Pamela Miller, Command Surgeon for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, sign the Memorandum of Cooperation between Australia and the United States, May 3, 2022. This was part of an April 25 to May 4, 2022, U.S. health delegation visit to enhance Australian-U.S. health interoperability.
May 18, 2022 - SYDNEY, Australia – A U.S. health delegation headed by Rear Adm. Pamela Miller, Command Surgeon for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and Maj. Gen. Michael Place, Commanding General of 18th Medical Command, visited Australia from...

Eielson Celebrates F-35 Beddown Completion
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Samuel Chipman, the 356th Fighter Squadron commander (right), briefs distinguished visitors May 13, 2022, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Eielson has a total of 54 permanently-assigned, combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft, cementing Alaska’s status as the most concentrated U.S. state for fifth-generation aircraft.
May 18, 2022 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The 354th Fighter Wing celebrated the arrival of its final F-35A Lightning II aircraft and the subsequent completion of its fleet with a ceremony May 13.U.S. Air Force Gen. Ken Wilsbach,...

Ceremony Honors Fallen U.S. Service Member from World War II in Thailand
Ceremony Honors Fallen U.S. Service Member from World War II in Thailand
May 18, 2022 - RAYONG, U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Thailand -- The United States repatriated recovered osseous material from the probable crash site of a United States aircraft lost over Lampang Province, 78 years ago during World War Two...

Marine Corps Forces Pacific Marine Recognized for Volunteer Efforts
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brandon A. Brown (right), and administrative specialist with Headquarters and Service Battalion (HQSVCBN), U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC), shakes hands with Col. Eduardo A. Bitanga II, Commander, HQSVCBN, MARFORPAC during a Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored virtual Military Appreciation Month Ceremony Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii on May 6. Members of each service were selected by their commands to be recognized during the ceremony for their outstanding community service. 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Maximilian C. Campbell)
May 18, 2022 - Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii -- The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii sponsored a Military Appreciation Month virtual ceremony in which U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brandon Brown, an administrative specialist with Headquarters and Service...