Story by PO2 Lauren M Deal on 04/08/2019COLLEGE STATION, Texas Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) (GHWB) traveled to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library to present a helm, honoring their namesake April 6.
President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, former CIA Director, Vice President, Texas congressman and WWII Naval aviator died at the age of 94, November 30, 2018.
Capt. Sean R. Bailey, the ship's commanding officer, led the crew of Sailors in Texas, who included Capt. Christopher Hill, executive officer, Command Master Chief Jorge Soto, Senior Sailor of the Year Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Paris Freeman, Sailor of the Year Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Alyssa Lewis, Petty Office of the Year Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Leigh Ann Kelly, and Bluejacket of the Year Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Jalene Fejeran-Reyes.
"The men and women assigned to GHWB wanted to honor their namesake and pay tribute to his legacy of service to our nation, as a naval aviator during WWII, as a Statesman and Diplomat, and as our President," said Bailey. "The ship's wheel or helm represents the fighting spirit of our ship, signifying that we will stay our course and execute the mission no matter the adversity we might face."
The ceremony was attended by the family members of President Bush, including his daughter Dorothy Doro' Bush Koch, who is also the ship's sponsor, and his son Neil Bush. Former Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Dan Quayle were also in attendance.
Attending this event allowed the Sailors to see firsthand the close bond with the Bush family, and that the ship is a testament to President Bush's legacy of service.
After the event, the Sailors paid respect to their namesake by visiting the late president's gravesite, where he is buried alongside his wife, Barbara, and their daughter Robin.
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) is the tenth and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and was commissioned in 2009. The ship completed its third combat deployment in 2017, and was the first carrier to support Operation Inherent Resolve for a second time.
GHWB is currently at Norfolk Naval Shipyard undergoing scheduled maintenance and modernization for its Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA).