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Long-gone USS Camden comes home

The Navy supply ship USS Camden returns Monday, May 5, after participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom and it looks like its crew will receive a warm welcome.

Area chambers of commerce, as well as many other regional organizations, have been busy planning to receive local heroes in grand form.

“The officers, crew and families have made tremendous sacrifices over the past several months,” said Troy Summerill, Chair of the Bremerton Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee and General Manager of Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. “It’s our turn to show them how much we appreciate what they have done and continue to do for us.”

At Delta Pier inside Naval Station Bremerton to meet the ships’ crew, will be various dignitaries from throughout the county, the South Kitsap High School marching band, flag drill team and Navy Junior ROTC.

While the public won’t all be allowed inside the Base for homecoming events, Melode Sapp, executive director of the Port Orchard Chamber, says that just about anywhere along the waterfront will provide an excellent view as the ship arrives around 8 a.m. Monday. Sapp encourages everyone to wave flags from the shoreline, and to bring a tissue or two.

“Tears come quick and easy when you see so much joy,” Sapp said.

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