Browsing: Homecoming

First, the heartwarming video. Then, the details: [HTML1] Cincinnati-area mom Karen Gardner has three sons in uniform: Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class (AW) Charles Gardner, Electronics Technician 3rd Class (SS) Christopher Gardner, and Joey Gardner, who turns 7 on Halloween and plays linebacker and running back for the Anderson Wildcats. Christopher Gardner hasn’t exactly been available to attend many of his brother’s recent sporting events — he serves on the attack submarine Helena, which only recently returned to Norfolk, Va., from a six-month deployment. But when he did have some time on the surface and was able to make it…

For your daily dose of heartwarming videos, check out the two homecomings below. Though they happen across the country, they have expressions of pure joy in common. The first, from the Kitsap Sun. [HTML1] Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) (AW) David Templeton, Operations Specialist 1st Class (AW) Sean Shenefelt and Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate (SW) Jason Turner made a surprise visit to PineCrest Elementary School in Bremerton, Wash., on Tuesday afternoon. The three sailors, assigned to the carrier John C. Stennis, were scheduled to be home in early May. About 130 kids were at an assembly having a story read to…

When the destroyer Winston S. Churchill returned home to Norfolk, Va., on Thursday, families cheered and reunited after nine months apart. For Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Jeff Reyes, seeing his family wasn’t just a reunion — it was a first meeting. During the deployment to Europe and the Middle East, the destroyer covered more than 56,000 nautical miles and conducted more than 1,000 hours of flight operations, according to a Navy news release. The destroyer also responded to an emergency at sea, saving the life of a civilian mariner in August. One crew member on the civilian motor vessel Belde…

Long deployments away from loved ones are part of a sailor’s job. And despite any number of technological advancements — email, Facebook, Skype, even the suddenly old-fashioned phone call — nothing can substitute for that moment of face-to-face reunion. Most sailors and their families have felt it. But if you haven’t seen it up close, it looks something like that picture on the right. The back story, courtesy of The Daily Times of Farmington, N.M.: Chief Yeoman (SW) Juanette Martin was heading home on leave from her deployment aboard the aircraft carrier George Washington in Japan to see her three…

Aiden Whyte wanted a “Star Wars”-themed fifth birthday. His father, a Navy reservist training a few time zones away, couldn’t make it. When Aiden found out a party-crasher dressed as Darth Vader would be making an appearance, he did what any sensible 5-year-old would do: He grabbed his light saber and, with sister Emily (a year older than Aiden and dressed as Princess Leia, of course) in tow, prepared for battle. With the cast set, we take you to a low-budget remake of “The Empire Strikes Back” in Wichita, Kansas: Spoiler alert: Darth Vader is Luke’s father. Specifically, Darth Vader…

On May 7, 1970, the Beatles released their last single: “The Long and Winding Road.” Last week, the amphibious transport dock Ponce, launched 13 days after the song and commissioned in July 1971, completed its own long journey, coming home for the last time after four decades of service. Those years were filled with significant events. Ponce helped evacuate nearly 300 mostly U.S. and British Westerners from Lebanon during the 1976 civil war, and supported 6th Fleet air strikes on pro-Syrian militia positions in defense of U.S. Marines ashore. It supported military disaster relief in Florida following 1992’s devastating Hurricane…

The Norfolk-based destroyer Mason finally made it home today, bringing up the rear of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, most of which arrived at home ports or bases July 15. One of the happy sailors was Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Eugene Andal, who was selected to debark and receive the traditional first kiss from his wife and kids: The Strike Group left Norfolk Jan. 13 to support theater security cooperation and maritime security cooperation efforts during a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility that covered nearly 60,000 miles.

The destroyer Stout came home to Norfolk Saturday following a Med cruise in support of theater security operations and ballistic missile deterrence … … and just in time for Father’s Day: Stout took part in the coalition strikes on Libyan forces that began in mid-March. Stout was the first ship on station and fired multiple salvos of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libyan air defenses, surface-to-air sites and communications nodes, along with the destroyers Stout and Barry, the attack submarines Providence and Scranton and the guided missile submarine Florida, according to the Navy. The crew also had to deal with the…

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