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Stennis arrives at last

The USS John C. Stennis winds its way through Rich Passage Saturday on its way to the aircraft carrier’s new homeport at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton. - Kent Soule/Hoot Creek Phototography
The USS John C. Stennis winds its way through Rich Passage Saturday on its way to the aircraft carrier’s new homeport at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton.
— image credit: Kent Soule/Hoot Creek Phototography

When the USS John C. Stennis and its crew finally docked at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton on a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon, no one on the ship or at Pier Delta felt the chill.

“We don’t feel any of the chill with the very warm reception we’ve received,” said Capt. David Buss, commanding officer of the Stennis. “Bremerton is our homeport.”

Buss, who was stationed in Bremerton aboard the USS Sacramento in 2002, said he is impressed by the city’s efforts to revitalize its downtown area.

The Stennis’ arrival marked the completion of a process that had been years in the making and was a homecoming for many of her sailors, Buss said.

“Our sailor’s families had been moving in stages with about 25 percent moving last year and another 25 percent moving at the first of the year,” he said. “A large chunk of our sailor’s families will make the move once school is out in Southern California.”

One of those families who made the move at the first of the year was the Hickeys.

Rebecca, whose husband, Adan, is assigned to the Stennis, said she is looking forward to having her husband home every night for awhile.

“It’s wonderful and it’s going to make life a lot easier,” she said. “Since August of 2003, it seems like he’s been out to sea for four months and home for a week.”

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