HST Artifacts to Inspire Future Leaders

Story Number: NNS040209-13Release Date: 2/11/2004 3:00:00 AM
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By Journalist Seaman John Stevens, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Keeping its legacy alive for future generations of midshipmen to observe, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) donated artifacts no longer of use to its mission to the Drydock Club at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The club is a common area for midshipmen to enjoy snacks and to get away from the daily grind.

According to Lt. Sly Brown of HST's Supply Department, donations from ships can range from command media tools, such as pictures and graphics, to actual pieces of the ship itself.

"They want basically anything from the ship," said Brown. "They've had people give them ejector seats, steering wheels, pictures, arresting gear cables and so on."

Brown surveyed the department heads on board and compiled a list of ideas for donations.

"We sent a couple of pictures, the mosaic of our pictures from the deployment and an arresting gear socket," said Brown.

The mosaic is an arrangement of tiny multi-colored photographs that form the image of President Harry Truman.

Totaling approximately 1,500 miniscule pictures in all, the mosaic was compiled during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brown said the arresting gear socket is similar to that which the captain shows distinguished visitors in his in-port cabin.

HST's donation is a small part of the overall decorating effort for the midshipmen's favorite relaxation spot. Brown said the donation helps improve HST's reputation with representation in the Navy's prestigious leadership school.

"It allows the midshipmen at the Academy to know the Truman name is out there," said Brown. "A few other ships have done it, and there will be more to follow, but this assures that when people walk by, they can say 'the Truman supports the Academy.'"

Commanding Officer Capt. Michael R. Groothousen, who attended the Naval Academy and whose son will graduate in a few months, said most of the donations are pieces and parts of the ship that are not needed anymore.

"We've collected various paraphernalia," said Groothousen. "We've got T-2 holdbacks, since we shot the last ever off HST, so that's something of an historical nature."

Artifacts from Operation Iraqi Freedom such as float coats worn by Sailors on the flight deck and arresting gear cables are even more valuable for donation, he added. "We're not talking things of value or things the ship is paying for, but rather things of an historical nature for the midshipmen to look at and learn more about our naval heritage."

"It's great for us," said Lt. Mark Symmes, Naval Academy food service and contracting officer. "Right now, we have plain white walls with mostly just sports pictures, not many special donations with a story behind them."

Symmes added that HST's donation gives midshipmen more to think about with regard to the history of the service. "Now there will be a greater awareness of the Navy's heritage."

"The Naval Academy is a repository of a lot of our naval heritage, so being that Truman played such a big part in the war, I wanted to make sure we get some stuff up there."

Groothousen said the Drydock Club was last remodeled when he attended the Academy, so whatever HST sends will remain there for a good long time.

HST's efforts will help to preserve the ship's image and memory for future generations of naval officers, many of whom may one day walk her decks.

For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.

Tug boats guide USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) up the Elizabeth River, past Portsmouth landmarks, to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
August 28, 2003
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