USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Two family members enjoyed a chance reunion aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) while serving in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility July 20.
Navy Lt. Sean Danowski, a pilot with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105 "Gunslingers" aboard Harry S. Truman, last saw his sister Air Force Capt. Rebecca Thevenot more than a year ago.
"My colonel knew my brother was deployed and I had always hoped my brother would be able to visit me," Thevenot said. "When I found out a few of our officers were making a trip to the Truman, my colonel told me I was going too."
Thevenot visited the ship as a Air Force team member from the Combined Air Operations Center in Al Udeid, Qatar.
Thevenot did not tell Danowski of her visit in order to surprise him. Scheduling conflicts made Thevenot uncertain of when or how long she would be able to see her brother.
"When I got to the Truman I found out he was supposed to be flying all day and then attend briefs in the evening," Thevenot said.
Thevenot saw his name on an aircraft while observing flight deck operations. Later, she finally surprised her brother one evening on the Landing Signal Officer (LSO) platform.
"One of the guys in VFA-37 asked me to go to the LSO platform when I got back to the ship. I did not know why," Danowski said. "My sister was waiting for me on the platform and I was completely surprised. It was really exciting."
Danowski has only been able to see his sister five times during his 10 years in the military. Holiday visits have been difficult, as Thevenot is stationed in California and Danowski in Virginia.
"It is always great to see family," Danowski said. "It is really interesting when you get to meet up on the other side of the world."
The siblings enjoyed lunch the day following their LSO meeting. Though their visit was brief, Danowski said he was grateful to see his sister.
"Sometimes you can get lost in your own little world," Danowski said. "Family keeps you grounded. When you keep that bond going, it is great. If you are lucky enough to do it in person and during deployment, that is even better."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.