ARLINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) visited Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 10 to pay their respects to fallen service members and military veterans.
The trip was organized by Carl Vinson's Second Class Petty Officers who make up a group known as 'First Classes in Training.' The First Class Petty Officers training initiative is facilitated by members of Carl Vinson's First Class Petty Officers' Association, a group that works to tutor and mentor emerging junior petty officers.
For Vinson Sailors of all ranks that made the trip to Arlington Cemetery, the day brought a sobering reminder of the sacrifice that so many Americans have made for their country.
"It's very emotional being around here, seeing the resting place of all the people who died fighting for our country," said Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 2nd Class Myra Cleary.
Vinson's second class petty officers, along with a group of Sailors from Fort George G. Meade, marched from the visitor's center in Arlington Cemetery to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, passing fields and small hills lined with gravestones in the country's largest cemetery for members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Upon arriving at the Tomb, Sailors witnessed the traditional 'Changing of the Guard' ceremony performed by Soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment.
Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 2nd Class Bryan Noynosoudachanh, one of four wreath-bearers, explained it was a great honor to commemorate the honorable men and women who made extraordinary sacrifice for the nation.
On the day before Veterans Day, many Sailors said the visit to Arlington Cemetery gave them a renewed perspective on the holiday itself.
"I don't even think we really thought about Veterans Day before we went up there, and the significance of this holiday, until we were actually laying the wreath down," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW/SW) Sonya Hogan. "I was inspired today, and I was motivated to keep going in my service to our nation."
Carl Vinson is undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.