Dear Families and Friends of the 13th MEU,
As many of you may know, a mild influenza virus has affected a number of Marines and sailors aboard USS Boxer and USS Comstock. The USS New Orleans has yet to report any cases, but we expect they will as well. The specific strain of flu is unknown, but it is contagious and generally characterized as “influenza-like-illness.” This means we are required to quarantine affected personnel and take other prudent measures to contain the virus and prevent a more widespread outbreak. At this time, affected Marines and sailors are recovering just fine under the care and supervision of our superior Navy medical team and every precaution is being taken to keep unaffected personnel in continued good health.
Due to the risk of spreading illness to our family and friends aboard ship, and thereby further complicating our efforts to contain this virus and get everyone healthy prior to our return to San Diego, I have made the decision to cancel the Tiger Cruise for all 13th MEU personnel across all three of our ships. The safety and health of our Marines and their families is our primary concern. I share your disappointment and regret you and your Marine will miss this experience.
We understand you have likely already purchased airfare to Hawaii and perhaps made other travel and lodging arrangements. Unfortunately, the Marine Corps cannot reimburse any costs. We will, however, provide a letter outlining the circumstances surrounding the cancellation for your use in negotiating refunds with your air carrier or other parties.
Your support to the 13th MEU over the past year has been inspiring. Your Marines have performed tremendously throughout the last seven months on deployment and we are all looking forward to the reunion at our home stations. I hope to see all of you at our return home celebration.
D. W. COFFMAN
For any questions, please contact your sponsor, unit Tiger Cruise Representative, or Family Readiness Officer. We will continue to post updates and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the 13th MEU Blogsite.