Welcome Aboard! USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) WELCOME BACK LINCOLN NATION! he wanted to marry but hadn’t seen since 1945. With Valentine’s day around the corner, I’d be hard pressed to find This guy puts even the sappiest a more relevant time to talk about romantic movies to shame. I this crazy, interesting story ran feel like any Valentine’s gifts we by the Virginian-Pilot last week. get our significant others this It has since blown up all over the weekend will pale in comparison Internet. It’s got everything: a local to this guy’s dedication. tie, World War II veteran, and most importantly, romance. They met in London shortly before D-Day. She was 17 years Norwood Thomas, a 93-yearold. Thomas was 21. old former Army paratrooper with the 101st Airborne, will be “Joyce was special,” Thomas reunited with the long-lost love said. “The one that got away.” of his life thanks to donations from hundreds of strangers and a After Thomas received orders kind gesture from an airline. back to American they kept in touch by writing letters. He “I woke up at 2:20 in the morning asked her to come to America and never got back to sleep,” and be his wife. Somehow Morris said Thomas standing on a curb misunderstood and thought Sunday morning outside the he’d found someone else. She Norfolk airport. stopped writing.
Thomas was getting ready to begin a 10,500-mile journey from the Hampton Roads area to Australia, where he’ll reunite with his long-lost WWII girlfriend, Joyce Durrant Morris, a woman
a D-Day series called “The Lucky Few,” which featured Thomas. In November, Thomas and Morris managed a Skype date. After the popularity of the story increased, a kind individual launched a GoFundMe campaign to reunite the two. Donors contributed nearly $7,500. Even Air New Zealand offered complimentary flights for Thomas. My favorite quote from the story: “I’d rather die traveling to Australia than live sitting around at home wondering ‘what if?’” So maybe this is more than a sweet story about elderly, star crossed lovers, maybe it can also work as a testament to the old adage that it’s “never too late.” If Norwood Thomas at 93 can still chase his dreams, what’s holding us back?
After a lifetime with other lovers and spouses, on a whim Morris asked one of her sons to look for Thomas on the Internet. Virginian- Editor Pilot stories popped up – including MC3 Derry Todd
IN THIS ISSUE
Lincoln’s formidable hockey team goes up against Langley Air Force Base in the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey match at Scope Arena.
Words of wisdom from some of our most successful and passionate shipmates.
Lincoln gets one step closer to operational status with the first successful catapult test of RCOH.
President Obama to Award Medal of Honor From Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs
Washington (NNS) -- On February 29, 2016, President Barack Obama will present the Medal of Honor to Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers.
Studies and Defense Analysis in early 2016.
Byers will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as part of a team that rescued an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan on December 8-9, 2012. He will be the eleventh living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service. “The strength of the Naval Special Warfare community is in its exceptional people. Senior Chief Ed Byers’ actions on the battlefield reflect the highest ideals of our profession: bravery, selfless dedication to duty, and above all, the highest level of commitment to protect the lives of others and the freedom for which our nation stands,” said Rear Admiral Brian Losey, Commander Naval Special Warfare. “We are humbled by Senior Chief Byers’ incredible example of service, and are proud to call him Teammate.” PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Senior Chief Byers was born in Toledo, Ohio, August 4, 1979. He graduated from Otesgo High School in Tontogany, Ohio in June 1997. Senior Chief Byers currently holds a National Paramedics License, and will graduate from Norwich University with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic
device, two awards of the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor device, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V device, two additional awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two awards of the Combat Action Ribbon, three Presidential Unit Citations, two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, two Navy Unit Commendations, and five Good Conduct Medals. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THE MEDAL OF HONOR:
Official U.S. Navy file photo of Navy Medal of Honor with Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident. (U.S. Navy photo by Oscar Sosa/Released)
Senior Chief Byers entered the Navy in September 1998, attending boot camp and Hospital Corpsman School at Great Lakes, Illinois. He served at Great Lakes Naval Hospital, and then with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 2002, he attended the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course, graduating from Class 242, and completed the Special Operations Combat Medic course in 2003. Senior Chief Byers has been assigned to various east coast SEAL teams, and completed eight overseas deployments with seven combat tours. Senior Chief Byers’ awards and decorations include five awards of the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V
The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while: * engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; * engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or * serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. There must be no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor. To justify this decoration, the deed performed must have been one of personal bravery and self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades, and must have involved risk of life. It must also be the type of deed which if not done would not subject the individual to any justified criticism.
LINCOLN BATTLES AIR FORCE
ON ICE Story and Photos MC3 Ciarra Thibodeaux
Lincoln Sailors and Airmen from Langley AFB line up during the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game.
A Lincoln Sailor and Airman from Langley Air Force Base play hockey in the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game.
imitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) hockey team took on airmen from Langley Air Force Base in the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game at Scope Arena in Norfolk Jan. 30. In the months leading up to this event, the two hockey teams played various games against other opponents in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. This encouraged a friendly rivalry between the two military branches. “Playing the Air Force on Saturday was incredible and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) 3rd Class Stephen Dobbs. “Our team became closer than ever and took a lot from the game. We are very excited for our future games and to take what we have learned and use it against future opponents.”
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rob Ferrone faces off in the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game.
Hundreds of their Shipmates, family members and friends came out to support with Lincoln pride. The players all expressed what an honor it was to play in the arena with the support of the command and their shipmates behind them.
“"It’s a privilege to represent the command while doing something that I love to do. ”" -Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Greenberg. “Shift work gets really repetitive, so it’s great to break up the weeks out there on the ice while only focusing on one thing, which is to win,” Greenberg said. Lincoln did not bring home a win this year. The final score of the game was 8-4, but the team is already preparing for their next big game in the spring. “We plan to work on moving the puck more,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 1st Class Anthony Serio. “Next time we will come out fighting and not wait until the last period to really get into the game.”
PRESS Lincoln Sailors talk during a break at the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game.
Lincoln Sailors and Airmen from Langley Air Force Base pose for a photo after participating in the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Anthony Serio gives his son the game puck from the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Anthony Serio and Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Greenberg, talk to an Airmen from the Langley AFB hockey team.
A Lincoln Sailor and a Langley AFB Airman compete over the puck at the inaugural “Air vs. Sea” hockey game.
Col. Joan Garbutt, director of Man Powered Personnel and Services at Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langely-Eustis, and Capt. Ron Ravelo, Lincoln’s commanding officer, prepare to drop the ceremonial first puck.
LINCOL celebrates HE L S 1 P A T R I C I A T. D E N N I S After spending four years in the Army stationed in Germany, Logistic Specialist 1st Class Patricia T. Dennis decided to join the Navy because she missed the military culture and camaraderie.
“Write down why you have set that as a goal, for who you are working to achieve that goal for, and the purpose. Surround your self with positive people. Remove yourself from negative.”
CMDR scott share African America
When I grew up, I was told that I couldn’t do certain things. I didn’t lack the intellect or ability, but it was my skin color. I am very patriotic and I get chills and feel excited to wear the cloth of the nation every day. I think what African American History month means to me is that this country is really concerned about showing appreciation by giving this opportunity for folks to be educated about the many contributions by African Americans.
MM2 VICTORIA REASOR Reasor joined the Navy to provide for her brother and mother. Since enlisting, she has funded her mother's way through the police academy.
“Don’t stop. Don’t give up. It not that hard. Somebody achieved it before you. You can do it.”
This is another opportunity to publicly take a pause and look at how far we’ve
AOC LISA CROCKER Crocker, who claims making chief petty officer is her greatest accomplishment, said her biggest motivation is her father, who passed away after being selected for promotion to Sergeant Major in the Army. She wants to carry on the torch.
Sailors like to say they are trying. I tell them don’t try - DO. Be a person of action and results. Be a do-er. Reach for the stars because they don’t fall at your feet.
es his thoughts on an History Month.
come as a country and a Navy. For me, when you talk about honor the first thing I think of is my family name. The values that were instilled in me in my house by my parents are the same as the Navy. I don’t want to bring discredit to my family, my Navy and my country so I conduct and carry myself with honor. What you put out is what you get back. For some folks, it does matter for someone to see someone who looks like them in a role of positive leadership. Having someone that looks like me in khakis could inspire someone to want to do it too.
BM3 RUSSELL CHARDAE Russell won Blue Jacket of the Quarter at her prior command and joined the Navy to become a better person.
I feel like honor, courage, and commitment means to be the example of what’s right and making sure that others are doing the same. `
BEST MESS of the
Story and Photos MC3 Ciarra Thibodeaux
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Sonia Mance prepares a meal during the “Best of the Mess “ competition.
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Sonia Mance and Culinary Specialist 1st Class James Parrott prepare a meal during the “Best of the Mess “ competition.
Capt. Ron Ravelo and his wife select food during the “Best of the Mess” competition.
SS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) culinary specialists earned three awards for their talents during the sixth annual “Best of the Mess” competition held at The Founders Inn in Virginia Beach Jan. 22. Lincoln was represented by Culinary Specialist 1st Class James Parrott, Culinary Specialist 1st Class Sonia Mance, and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Ebony Hudson. These three Sailors took home the Best Decorated Station award, the People’s Choice award, which was voted on by the guests that attended the event, and placed first place in the overall competition. Lincoln’s Best of the Mess team spent months preparing for the competition in order to perfect their decorations and menu. This year’s ingredients for the participating teams included coffee, blood oranges, coyote squash, and pork shoulder. “We began preparing for Best of the Mess in August of last year,” Mance said. “The morning of the event we came in to work at about 0500, went over our checklist to make sure we had everything we needed, and headed over to the event.” Lincoln Sailors competed against six other local Navy teams from the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area including teams from USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), USS McFaul (DDG 74), USS Bataan (LHD 5), Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. “I got to look around and see everyone’s food and it all looked very good,” Hudson said. “It was really an honor to be able to compete and an indescribable feeling to win every category. I can’t wait to see what we come up with next year to defend our title as the Best of the Mess.” In addition to allowing the culinary specialists from each command to demonstrate their talents through the preparation of a three course menu, the Best of the Mess competition is an annual event and silent auction sponsored by the Chief Petty Officer’s Fund to provide educational assistance to family members of the chief petty officers.
LINCOLN KICKS OFF
AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH Story by USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs
he Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Multicultural Heritage Committee (MCHC) kicked off African American/Black History Month with a cake cutting ceremony on the mess decks aboard the Floating Accommodation Facility (FAF) mess decks at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News Feb. 1.
“My hope is that my story will inspire a young Sailor in the audience today to the possibilities that await them if they work hard and strive to be the best in everything that they do,” Scott said. “Now that I’m older, I have a great appreciation for of all the experiences I had growing up in the South. Those experiences helped shape me into the man I am today, and the better person I want to be tomorrow.”
The ceremony begins a monthlong celebration for the Lincoln crew to honor the contributions of African Americans to the nation and the U.S. Navy.
During closing remarks, Lincoln’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Ron Ravelo, reflected on the ship’s namesake.
Cmdr. Louis Scott, Lincoln’s maintenance officer served as the ceremony’s guest speaker, telling his story of growing up in southern Georgia and joining the Navy a month after graduating from high school.
“I was sitting here thinking about the theme for this month (Hallowed Ground), and in my mind I think it’s actually kind of fitting,” Ravelo said. “I can’t think of a ship in the U.S. Navy that is named after an individual who has done more for the cause of African Americans.”
Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), cut a cake commemorating African American History Month.
Cmdr. Louis Scott speaks during a ceremony celebrating African American History Month.
Photos by MC3 Robert Ferrone
MAKES REENLISTMENT SPECIAL Story by MC3 Patrick Maher
hen a Sailor decides to reenlist they usually try to do something special or unique to commemorate the event. Reenlistment ceremonies have been performed hundreds of feet in the air, submerged below the water line and in the middle of the desert. Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Christopher James Wheeler, a Sailor assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), had the idea of reenlisting on the flight deck of his grandfather’s past ship, aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). “Growing up, he would always tell me sea stories about carriers he had served on, things he encountered and he built it up so much that it made me excited about the Navy,” Wheeler said.
“I always wanted to join the military and he is the reason why I decided to join the Navy.”
An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Photo by MC3 Scott Pittman.
Wheeler said his grandfather would tell him these sea stories about his Navy career as parachute rigger. Many of these stories took place on Enterprise.
“He used to tell me how big the aircraft carriers were and how they would never feel the waves; how you could barely tell you were in the middle of the ocean,” Wheeler said. “Once they encountered a typhoon and it was so powerful that they could really feel the waves. They could tell it wasn’t the smoothest ride in the world and that even a ship that size could be humbled by Mother Nature.” Wheeler’s reenlistment wasn’t Lt. Cmdr. Michael Duwel’s first time reenlisting a Sailor, but this one was unique and very special to him. “It’s pretty special, there is a significance to it and it’s always more memorable when it means more to that person,” Duwel said.
USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN
LIFE Story by USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs Photos by MC3 Aaron Kiser
ailors aboard aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed no-load testing on catapult one Jan. 28, marking another milestone in the ship’s Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH).
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Kyle Payne resets the catapult during the successful testing of Lincoln’s catapult on the flight deck.
Capt. Ron L. Ravelo, Lincoln’s commanding officer, was the first “shooter” to give the signal to launch for the first time in more than three years. “No-loads are conducted every single day by operational carriers in order to warm up the catapult in anticipation of launching aircraft,” Ravelo said. “I look forward to when we are once again operational and firing no-loads in advance of actual flight operations.” Lincoln Sailors worked alongside their counterparts at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) to overhaul the carrier’s Aircraft Launch and Recovery (ALRE) equipment. “Throughout the process, there was excellent integration between our ship, NNS and engineers from Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst,” said Cmdr. David Burmeister, Lincoln’s air boss. “Because these entities worked so well together, we are standing here today executing this major milestone and celebrating a great deal of hard work our Sailors and their teammates put in to bringing these systems back on line.” No-load testing is required to verify the operation function of the entire catapult and provides the ship with an interim certification to launch aircraft. The duration of testing began Dec. 7, 2015, when all hydraulic, air and steam systems were filled and charged, culminating in 20 catapult shots with no more than five minutes of recovery time between shots.
Capt. Ronald Ravelo, Lincoln’s commanding officer speaks about the hard work and efforts of Lincoln’s crew after the successful testing of Lincoln’s catapult on the flight deck.