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    USS The Sullivans Crew Visit Hometown of Ship’s Namesake

    USS The Sullivans Sailors visit Waterloo

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang | 190625-N-DA737-0123 WATERLOO, Iowa (Jun 26, 2019) Kelly Sullivan Loughren, the sponsor...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang 

    Navy Office of Community Outreach

    WATERLOO, Iowa – The U.S. Navy’s past and present came together in Waterloo, Iowa, when Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) came to town as part of Quad Cities Navy Week, June 25.

    The crew of DDG 68 spent the day touring the hometown of their ship’s namesake, meeting with local veterans groups, visiting historical landmarks and experiencing the community.

    Kelly Sullivan, the ship’s sponsor and granddaughter of one of the five Sullivan brothers, served as the guide and host for the Sailors.

    “It’s really a treat when the Navy takes the time to bring the Sailors here so that they can understand the namesake of their ship,” said Kelly. “The Sullivan brothers grew up here and now we have Sailors here that I get to show around.”

    The day’s events included a meet-and-greet at the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum and a tour of the John Deere factory. Along the way, the Sailors also visited various locations around Waterloo honoring the brothers’ legacy including the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, the Sullivan Brothers Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1623 and Sullivan Memorial Park, which now stands at the location of their childhood home.

    At every opportunity, The Sullivans Sailors were welcomed with open arms by local veterans and members of the community.

    “The whole town loves the Sullivan brothers and they really made us feel completely welcome here,” said Command Master Chief Jennifer Millerschone, The Sullivans’ CMC.

    The visit was also an opportunity for the crew to show the residents of Waterloo what the Sailors aboard the ship named after their hometown heroes were like.

    “I think it’s incredibly important when less and less of the country is serving percentage wise to get the message out on what we do,” said Cmdr. Patrick Eliason, commanding officer of The Sullivans. Eliason also emphasized the importance of showing the diversity of the Navy demonstrating the ship’s motto, ‘We stick together’ for the public.

    Throughout the day, The Sullivans Sailors received a more in-depth look at the history of their ship’s namesake, from seeing the exhibit dedicated to the brothers at the museum and hearing stories from the Sullivan family themselves.

    Albert, Francis, George, Joseph and Madison Sullivan served together on the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL 52) during World War II. All five were killed in action when the ship was sunk at the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942.

    The brothers were recognized as national heroes and their deaths spurred the Congress to enact the Sole Survivor Policy.

    “I definitely shed a couple tears knowing how strong the connection was between the Sullivan brothers,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Karen Rodriguez “It really drove home the fact that five brothers died and I saw how it affected the family members.”

    Before the day ended, the Sailors of The Sullivans experienced one more piece of Waterloo hospitality, a home cooked meal at Kelly’s house with her and her family.

    “I couldn’t thank the city of Waterloo more,” said Eliason “It’s a testament to what the Sullivan boys mean to the city. Their town got the opportunity to open their arms to Sailors and they did just that.”

    Navy Weeks are a series of outreach events coordinated by the Navy Office of Community Outreach designed to give Americans an opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people and its importance to national security and prosperity. Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy's flagship outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence, providing the public a firsthand look at the Navy the nation needs.



    Date Taken: 06.25.2019
    Date Posted: 06.26.2019 11:03
    Story ID: 329218
    Location: WATERLOO, IA, US 

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