USS George H.W. Bush Hosts Namesake
(July 18, 2010)
Former President George H.W. Bush autographs Lt. Carl White's flight deck life preserver vest during a visit to the aircraft carrier that bears his name, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Bush and his wife, Barbara, spent their time aboard watching flight operations, touring the ship and visiting with the crew. George H.W. Bush is conducting training in the Atlantic Ocean.
||USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), the Navy's
10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, received a visit from its
namesake, former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush,
while underway July 14.
Bush and Barbara were escorted on board by Adm. J.C. Harvey, commander, U.S.
Fleet Forces Command.
During his two-day visit to the aircraft carrier, Bush toured the ship,
observing day-to-day operations and spending time with the crew, as well as
taking part in a reenlistment ceremony for nearly 60 Sailors, which he said was
"I am proud of every man and woman on this ship," said Bush. "I was
honored to be able to reenlist those who are ready to serve again. I
am very emotional about service to country, particularly the Navy. I
am very proud of the
Navy and extremely proud of this ship. That this ship is named after
me knows no bound in terms of my emotion and my pleasure and the
honor that I feel."
Commanding Officer Capt. Chip Miller expressed what a huge privilege and
inspiration it was to host two individuals who devoted their lives to selfless
"What an honor it is to have our special guests on board to see freedom at work
first hand," said Miller. "We are so grateful to have them join us at sea to see
what we do and how we do our part to defend freedom."
Barbara pointed out how much the aircraft carrier and its crew meant to her and
"This ship is probably the greatest honor that George Bush ever had given to
him," said Barbara. "He and I pray for this crew every single night of our
lives. This crew is the greatest, and we are thankful to you for what you're
doing and what your families do for all of us."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Apprentice Sutton C. Hout, of the
ship's Air department, was thankful for the opportunity to interact with the
namesake of the aircraft carrier.
"It was really exciting to spend time with a former president," said Hout. "It
was an honor to meet him. It was great experience interacting with the namesake
of this great ship and someone who played such a significant role in U.S.
history. It's not every day that you get to meet the 41st president of the
Miller also noted that one of the command's primary goals is to emulate the
qualities of its respected namesake.
"We run this ship, and we harp on our guiding principles," said Miller.
"President Bush is an example to every single one of us and Barbara is an
example that inspires us every day. Our number one guiding principle on board
this ship is that, like our namesake, we are professionals who serve our country
with integrity. It drives us. It fuels us. George H.W. Bush is a professional
who continues to serve his country with integrity."
The former president expressed his confidence and high hopes for the command
concerning the aircraft carrier's upcoming maiden deployment and reinforced his
gratitude to the military and its service members.
"This ship will do a wonderful job supporting freedom around the world," said
Bush. "When this ship deploys, I know that you will carry the flag with great
honor, the flag of the United States, a flag of freedom. We are so blessed that
freedom works in this country. What a great country this is and what a wonderful
thing it is to be an American. We are so lucky to have people serving, all
volunteers, volunteering for this country and to be a part of this magnificent
Bush, a former Navy pilot, was stationed on the USS San Jacinto (CVL 30) during
World War II and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his combat service in
the Pacific in 1944.
USS George H.W. Bush is the only U.S. Navy aircraft carrier with a living
namesake. This visit marked the second time at sea for the former president, but
was Barbara's first time underway aboard the ship named after her husband.
The Bush's daughter and ship's sponsor, Doro Bush Koch, went underway aboard the
ship for a Friends and Family Day Cruise in May 2010.
The entire Bush family has been actively involved in the command and events
involving its crew since the ship's commissioning in January 2009.
Article and photo by Navy MCSS J. Scott St. Clair
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs
Navy News Service
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