The children were born while the crew of the aircraft carrier were on a tour of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq for seven months. What a happy holiday homecoming!
More than one in 70 of the crew of 7,000 aboard the USS Truman aircraft carrier came home to meet the newest additions to their family when the ship docked at the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia on Monday (Dec. 20). A total of 119 babies were born while the sailors were out at sea on a seven-month-long tour of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the emotional homecoming, proud fathers laid eyes on their sons and daughters for the very first time. How sweet is that?
The first 12 sailors off the ship were given a dozen red roses before they were reunited with their wives, who were waiting in a “New Moms Tent” that was erected directly across from the ship.
“She’s a cutie-pie,” gushed Senior officer Nathaniel Colding, to the Daily Mail as he held his three-month-old daughter, Christina. “He missed her birth. I didn’t want him to miss her first Christmas,” added his wife, Tina. The couple also has a 7-year-old son, Malachi.
The ship’s ranking officer, Rear Admiral Patrick Discoll, was pleased to be able to bring his crew home in time to spend Christmas with their kids. “The performance across the board was outstanding,” he told the paper. “We supported the troops and we did a lot more too.”
And for Devron Moore, the aircraft refueller, seeing his son, Sawyer, smile in person, was perhaps the greatest gift of all, since he had to leave his wife, Melanie, when she was eight months pregnant. “It feels amazing,” says Devron. “He’s smiling at me.”
We wish all the United States armed forces a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!