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Families rejoice at USS Jimmy Carter’s arrival

Melissa Miller helps her 3-year-old daughter Gabby with her sign as Gabby’s twin sister Ally excitedly waves to the USS Jimmy Carter as it nears the pier at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor on Wednesday. Zachary Aderhold, 3, (background) looks out over the water, also waiting anxiously to see his dad.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Melissa Miller helps her 3-year-old daughter Gabby with her sign as Gabby’s twin sister Ally excitedly waves to the USS Jimmy Carter as it nears the pier at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor on Wednesday. Zachary Aderhold, 3, (background) looks out over the water, also waiting anxiously to see his dad.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

At the top of their lungs, 3-year-old twin girls Ally and Gabby Miller screamed excitedly for their daddy as they watched the USS Jimmy Carter pull into its homeport of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor on Wednesday.

“Dad over here, welcome home Dad,” they yelled out as the large submarine inched closer to the pier.

“We’re ready to have daddy home,” said the girls’ mother, Melissa Miller.

Wives and sweethearts alike waved excitedly as they anxiously waited for their loved ones to depart the submarine.

“I’m very anxious, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him, I’m hoping (the sub) will hurry up,” said Rosey Teresi, who hadn’t seen her husband since they were married in July.

They were able to go on their honeymoon, although it was not what they expected.

“We were in Jamaica during the hurricane, it was an interesting honeymoon,” she said.

The USS Jimmy Carter is a nuclear-powered attack submarine and is the third and last of the Seawolf class. At a cost of $3.2 billion, it is the most technologically advanced submarine ever built and includes a 100-foot hull extension designed for underwater operations.

It is replacing the USS Parche which was decommissioned in October 2004. At 453 feet in length, the Jimmy Carter is 52 feet longer than the Parche.

Although it only took the sub about 25 days to make its way from Groton, Conn., to NBK-Bangor, many families, about half of them, moved to the area during the summer so their children could begin school on time.

“People have been moving out here since May,” said Kim Klahr, the sub’s ombudsman who last saw her husband in July.

“I’m ecstatic,” she said as she awaited her husband Paul’s arrival. “I’m very happy they’re coming in.”

But before the crew could depart the sub, the traditional first kiss had to happen first. Lorie Nelson and her husband Chief Paul Nelson, an electronics technician, were the lucky couple.

“I can’t wait to have him home, we’ve been married for a long time, but I’m still happy to have him home,” Lorie said of her husband of 17 years.

Wednesday’s homecoming was not only a day anticipated by the families of the crew, but for Navy officials as well.

“We’ve been waiting with almost as much anticipation as you have for the Carter to come

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