Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Daniel Schumacher

BREMERTON, Wash. – Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) joined local motorcycle riders in a memorial convoy and vigil March 6 to honor the life of a former Stennis Sailor.

Lt. Cmdr. John Harris lost his life in a motorcycle accident Feb. 26 while on his way to his home in Port Orchard, Wash.

“This [ceremony] gives me an incredible sense of pride for our Navy family and what we do for each other,” said Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Greg Harris, John Harris’s brother, from Springfield, Mo., who is currently stationed aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56).

Motorcycle riders from across KitsapCounty rode from the shopping district in Silverdale, Wash. to Harris’ home in Port Orchard, completing Harris’s intended travel path the day of his accident.

“I think John would have loved this,” said Shannon Harris, John Harris’s wife, from Port Orchard, Wash. “This is wonderful.”

After the ride, Stennis’ Chaplain, Cmdr. Yolanda Gillen, from Detroit, lead a prayer vigil at Harris’ home.

“As a friend of mine, I wanted to bring [Harris] home to his wife,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Scott, Stennis’ Maintenance Material Control Officer, from Wheatland, Wyo., who helped coordinate the involvement of Stennis Sailors in the ride and ceremony. “This is obviously a tough time for [John Harris’s family
and friends], and it’s important to show our support.”

Harris was assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136 in Whidbey Island, Wash. and previously served aboard Stennis from 2000-2003 and 2006-2009.