Congressman Visits Truman

Story Number: NNS071101-15Release Date: 11/1/2007 4:44:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jymyaka Braden, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) welcomed aboard Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, the Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, while in port here, Oct. 27.

He shared his memories of former President Harry S. Truman, and why he advocated naming the carrier after him.

"It took eight years to convince the United States government to name this aircraft carrier after Harry S. Truman," Skelton said.

He said it was important to him to name the ship after Truman to carry on the legacy of a man who was greater than history books could record.

"It was the highlight of my teens when my father took me to see his good friend Harry Truman being inaugurated," Skelton said.

He said Truman was caring, kind-hearted and thoughtful toward others.

"These things are not recorded in history, but are part of my recollection." Skelton said.

Skelton shared a story about a speech he attended during Truman's famous whistle-stop tour. The president noticed a man with no legs in the crowd and personally thanked him for coming out to show his support.

"A photographer walked up ready to snap a picture of this, and Truman waved him away because he didn't want the man to be embarrassed," Skelton said. "I don't know many politicians who would've turned down a photo opportunity like that. That's just the kind of man Truman was."

Skelton said he appreciated the Sailors and other service members for their service to the country and wished the crew well on their upcoming deployment.

Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) (SW/NAC) Nzinga Henderson said she appreciated the congressman taking time out of his day to come and share his stories.

"We learned some new things about Truman and the history of our ship," Henderson said. "He shared a lot of wisdom and let us know that people representing us are appreciating us, and they make sure that the rest of the nation doesn't take us for granted."

Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Howard Bell said the visit with Skelton helped him learn about Truman's personality better than anything else he has heard about him.

"I have more personal pride now serving aboard the USS Harry S. Truman," Bell said.

At the completion of the visit Skelton reminded the Sailors that Truman's legacy is carried out every day aboard the ship and it was truly an honor for him to visit.

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