NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. -- After six months in the Middle East, more than 275 sailors have returned to Mayport aboard USS Gettysburg. The guided missile cruiser and crew were deployed with the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group in support of operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, plus security efforts in the Mediterranean and Arabian seas. Vice President Joe Biden, in town to discuss college affordability with high school students, was with the waiting crowd as the ship docked. As USS Gettysburg was pulling in, Biden spoke to the families and friends of the sailors, quoting John Milton, who wrote, "They also serve who only stand and wait." He said the country is behind them as well as the sailors. "We only have one sacred obligation as a country. We have a lot of obligations, only one's sacred. That's to prepare those we send to war, and care for those and their families when they come home. That's an obligation we're going to meet; you've met all of your obligations." To the children, he had a special message as well. "It's going to be a be a very, very, very happy Christmas for all you kids." Biden then boarded the ship to greet the sailors. "Welcome home, sailor," Biden said as he shook hands and gave a vice presidential coin to everyone on the ship. Sailing into Mayport with USS Gettysburg were other ships in the group, including the carrier USS George H.W. Bush. The other ships will be picking up family members and friends for a "Tiger Cruise" from Mayport to the carrier's homeport in Norfolk, Virginia, according to a news release from Navy spokesman Bill Austin. First Coast NewsThis means the USS George HW Bush is one day closer to home.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
VP Biden visits sailors on the USS Gettysburg today
First Coast News reported