USS Nimitz arrives home at Naval Base Kitsap after 6-month deployment
BREMERTON, Wash. -- The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz arrived home Sunday to Naval Base Kitsap after a six-month deployment overseas.
The USS Nimitz left from Bremerton on June 1 and was part of a strike group that sailed more than 78,000 miles during the deployment and flew more than 1,300 combat sorties into Iraq and Syria, according to the release.
"I’m super excited, obviously," said Heather Herman as she waited for her husband to arrive. "But I’m also really nervous."
"It’s like the nervous butterflies of a first date but knowing you’re about to meet your soul mate," added Dawn Breckenridge as she waited for her husband to arrive.
"I never thought my daughter would be in the Navy growing up, let’s put it that way," said Bob Stowell, who flew out to Washington from New York to greet his daughter. "And to see the places that she’s seen in the last few months on deployment, it’s extraordinary."
"I am very proud of the entire Strike Group and all that our Sailors and Marines accomplished during this deployment," said Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, commander of Nimitz Strike Group in the press release. "The team demonstrated the professionalism, strength, and resolve of the U.S. Navy around the world. They battled through the intense heat of the Arabian Gulf to conduct operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, and now it's time for all of us to get back and enjoy some well deserved family time."
Hundreds of families were there to greet the sailors, including Colina Morris. She gave birth to her son Callan about two-and-a-half months ago.
Callan met his father Jordan in person for the first time Sunday.
"He wasn’t there for the birth and that, in general, is just a really emotional time," said Colina Morris. "So, not necessarily a birth but it’s the first time he gets to hold his son."
When the time came Sunday, she pushed Callan's stroller up and locked eyes with her husband as he stepped off the ship.
Jordan Morris has seen photos of his son every time he arrived in port.
But holding Callan in his arms for the first time Sunday meant the world.
"It’s hard to explain the feeling, you know. I was real quiet. You can ask anybody on the ship, you know?" Jordan Morris said. "It was a moment to embrace. It’s an awesome experience, so I’m glad I’m home."