In sincere gratitude to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces . . . Your daily sacrifice is what makes our way of life possible!
As my son's ship, the USS Theodore Roosevelt was ordered to duty as part of the first strike team, my wife and I had many emotions to deal with. His ship carried the flag from ground zero and hoisted her in retaliation. As native New Yorkers, our simultaneous pride and fear made for long days and nights. As Matthew and his shipmates worked with intense focus, for long days and nights as well, we detected his exhaustion via his e-mails. I composed this piece for him so that he could re- focus on his spiritual self, as an outlet. I hope you enjoy it as he did.
For My Beautiful Son Matthew
Armed to the nines with 50s and fighter Jets, the floating fortress is a formidable foe that forces friendship.
Below its steel hat turn the brains of 6000 cogs. Each specializing in a micro task that concerts a ballet of eye opening awe.
Amongst a few of the gray ghosts moving parts ticks the mind of the Shaolin traveler.
While bone, steel, repetition and nuclear reaction squeezes the mind of the simple and those that have only known the outside of themselves, it becomes the tomb that they volunteered to enter.
None of these containers can hold the thoughts of the spirit traveler. Instead they become the fuels of appreciation giving contrast to what most take for granted.
Unleash the chain that holds us to believing that we must wait our turn. And we will learn the things for the first time that we have always known.
While most flail themselves about creating history, the spirit of the traveler sidesteps with grace looking for a portal to the future.
Numbers from 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom Cruise
Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) returned home on May 29, 2003 from its five-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Listed below are some of the stats the TR compiled during this historic deployment:
- Sorties: Flew more than 6,500 sorties, 1,703 in combat.
- Launches/Recoveries: 7,230
- Flight hours: Totaled more than 15,000 flight hours, resulting
in a 99.2 percent aircraft sortie completion rate.
- Ordnance/cost: Dropped more than 1 million pounds of ordnance/estimated cost of $38,326,000
- Jet fuel: nearly 11 million gallons of jet fuel.
- Mail: Moved more than 1.7 million pounds.
- Re-enlistments: 86 Sailors reenlisted for more than 400 total years.
- Miles steamed: 43,225 miles (total since Jan. 5)
- Meals: 568,689
- Food Cost: $5,079,125.37
- Types of Food Consumed:
- Bacon 13,912 pounds
- Fresh Eggs 46,172 dozen
- Frozen Eggs 41,575 pounds
- Milk 5,632 containers
- Coffee 3,729 cans
- Flour 6,948 bags
- Sugar 3,024 bags
- Butter 15,174 pounds
- Bottled Catsup 39,740 bottles
- Chicken 93,763 pounds
- Steaks 7,783 pounds
- Shrimp 12,606 pounds
- Hot Dogs 25,714 pounds
- Hamburgers, 5 oz each 41,746 pounds
- Freedom Fries 81,340 pounds
- American Cheese 26,923 pounds
- Shredded Cheese 14,833 pounds
- Ice Cream 1417 containers
- $1,498,416.93 Merchandise sales from Ship Store
- $339,130.50 in Soda vending machine sales
- $139,122.85 in Snack vending machine sales
- $281,836.00 in Phone card sales
- $21,433.61 in Concessionaire sales
- Numbers from 2001-2002 Operation Enduring Freedom Cruise
- Navigation - Distance traveled 60,000 nautical miles
- Internet - 5 million emails
- Postal Service Division
- 815,605 pounds of Mail handled
- $19,157 in Stamps sales
- $103,246 in Metered postage sales for packages
- $533,573 in USPS Money Order sales
- Meals fed to TR crew 2,668,860
- Food Cost $6,150,234
- Types of Food consumed:
* Bacon 22,324 pounds
* Fresh eggs 56,271 dozen
* Frozen eggs 51,441 pounds
* Milk 52,116 gallons
* Coffee 10,490 pounds
* Flour 108,266 pounds
* Sugar 21,217 pounds
* Butter 23,914 pounds
* Bottled catsup 44,075 bottles
* Chicken 86,359 pounds
* Steaks 111,017 pounds
* Shrimp 16,678 pounds
* Hot dogs 55,522 pounds
* Hamburger, 5 oz each 78,022 pounds
* French Fries 121,166 pounds
* Cheese, American 15,805 pounds
* Cheese, shredded 23,578 pounds
* Ice cream 2,250 gallons
- Catapults/traps 10,700
- Flight Deck Aircraft Moves 47,000
- Hangar Bay Aircrafts Moves 4,500
- Elevator Runs 3,000
- Underway Replenishments 28
- Fuel Pumped 41.5 million gallons
- Flight hours 32,425
- Sorties flown 10,938
- Sortie Completion Rate 99% combat
- Vertical Replenishments 37 Evolutions encompassing day and night helicopter operations
- Engineering - Water distilled 70,000,000 gallons
- Barber Shop - Haircuts 16,199
- Ships Store
- $2,689,454 Merchandise sales from ship's store
- $526,715 in Soda machine sales
- $166,415 in Snacks
- $514,580 in Phone card sales
- $31,151 in Amusement arcade use
- $45,000 in Concessionaire sales
- Disbursing Division "The Bank"
- Cashed over $2.6 million worth of checks
- Maintained over 4,890 pay accounts for an average of $6.2 million per month
- Maintained 2,590 shipboard ATM accounts (split pay) for $527,073 per month
- Paid out a total of $3,064,003 to shipboard ATM accounts
- Total payroll for cruise $31,022,851.94 for the entire cruise
- Collected over $3,980,000.00 from the Ship's Store operation
- Collected $790,827.19 from the General Mess
- Issued $11,322,277.85 in U. S. Treasury Checks
- Processed 1,069 travel claims totaling $817,412.94
- Aviation Support Division - moved over 5,300 pallets of material, food, ammunition and 184 aircraft engines/modules valued at over $197 Million
- Material Support Division - 23,191 requests for stock items