Gulf of Aden --
Six Marines and Sailors with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) donated their hair in honor of breast cancer awareness month, Oct. 15.
Accumulating 82 inches of hair, the ponytails donated will be sent to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Locks of Love to be made into wigs for individuals experiencing hair loss from chemotherapy treatments and diseases.
The process was simple; participants put their hair into a pony tail at about eight to ten inches, had their hair cut off, and then placed the hair in individual plastic bags to be processed.
Each Marine and Sailor had a reason to cut their locks for this cause. Information System Technician 2nd Class Charlisa Farmer, assigned to multipurpose assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), had her aunt as inspiration for making the cut.
“She had breast cancer, I remember seeing everything she went through in chemotherapy,” said Farmer, a Fayetteville, N.C. native. “I figured this was a way to give back.”
The purpose of the program is to give individuals battling cancer a chance to feel like themselves again.
“For females in general, hair is important, it makes them feel feminine,” said Farmer. “I’m happy with the turnout, it showed people that it’s ok to donate your hair for a good cause.”
The 22nd MEU is currently deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) as the U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, also providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.