By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack
SEATTLE – The crew of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was recognized during ‘Stennis Day’ at the Seattle Mariners’ home baseball game August 23.
Eight hundred Stennis Sailors and family members attended the game and sat together in a reserved section of Safeco Field. The honorary first pitch of the game was thrown by Capt. Michael Wettlaufer, Stennis’ commanding officer.
“It’s wonderful that the Mariners organization opens their stadium not just to our Sailors, but to every service member,” said Wettlaufer. “This is another example of the great support Seattle and the state of Washington give to the Navy and all of our armed services.”
During the pregame ceremony, a video compilation of Stennis’ operations during their recent deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations was displayed on the stadium’s ‘jumbo-tron’ and the ship’s honor guard presented the colors during the National Anthem.
“It was a really cool experience to present colors in front of thousands of people,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Apprentice Jennifer Vaughan, a member of the Stennis’ color guard.
“I think it was a great idea for the Mariners to honor the Stennis,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Amber Board. “I had a lot of fun last year on Stennis Day so when I heard they were doing it again I had to get a ticket.”
Stennis returned from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations on May 3 and is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.