HST, Seattle Maintain Family Ties

Story Number: NNS041203-09Release Date: 12/3/2004 6:03:00 PM
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By Journalist 3rd Class (SW) John Stevens, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Husband and wife were reunited - for 40 minutes - for the first time in five months aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Nov. 16, while Truman was relieving USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) in the Persain Gulf.

Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Erin Barbeau, deployed aboard USS Seattle (AOE 3) as a part of the John F. Kennedy Strike Group, was able to hitch a ride on a helicopter that was dropping supplies off aboard Truman to visit her husband, Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Shawn Barbeau of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126.

While the meeting was brief, Shawn beamed at the opportunity.

"Even if it's just for an hour, it's still better than going close to a year without seeing her," he said.

Throughout their two-year marriage, the majority of the Barbeaus' time has been spent deployed.

"Over the past two years since we've been married, we've been together maybe six months of it," said Shawn.

The couple hopes they'll have more time together after Truman returns from its deployment, since Seattle is being decommissioned upon its return to Norfolk, and Erin will report for shore duty.

"Hopefully, I'll have some down time after this cruise," said Shawn.

Despite the long-distance relationship, Shawn said he plans on reenlisting when the time comes. In the meantime, Erin will enjoy the holiday season back home with a trip to New York. She said she will also make sure Shawn has a happy holiday himself.

"There will be many packages," she assured him. "Every week."

The visit was something of a momentous event for the Barbeaus, as it helped to commemorate their second anniversary Nov. 9, as well as Shawn's two-year mark with VAW-126 Nov. 13.

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

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