- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 11, 2001

NORFOLK The first U.S. aircraft carrier to report for combat duty in the war on terrorism docked yesterday morning after nearly seven months at sea, greeted by thousands of cheering relatives and friends.
The USS Enterprise's thrumming engines competed with Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." blasting from loudspeakers as the crowd chanted "USA, USA." Some waved American flags and signs that read: "Welcome Home Daddy" or "We're Proud of Our Boys."
Relatives tried to hush children who grew impatient as cranes took nearly an hour to put three brows in place alongside the ship that would allow the 5,000 sailors on board to disembark.
The crew, in their dress blues, lined the decks of the carrier. Some used their cell phones to talk to loved ones waiting on the pier.
"It's great to be back home. I couldn't wait," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Will Tabocol, 32, from Hilo, Hawaii. "I'm going to do nothing for the next two weeks except play with my new baby."
Officer Tabocol's daughter, Kalea, was born two months ago. He saw her for the first time when he stepped off the ship yesterday.
Petty Officer Kinte Horton, 22, of San Francisco said it was extremely difficult to be away from home when the terrorist attacks occurred. "I was safer than she was," Mr. Horton said of his wife, Trina.
"I wanted to go home, but I knew I couldn't. We're the military. We had to do our part and respond to the cowardly acts done to us," he said.
Trina Horton, 30, waited on the windy pier for more than four hours. "Here they come," she squealed as the first crew members walked off the ship.
"I'm very happy because he's home, but I'm also sad because of all the things that have happened," Mrs. Horton said.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide