USS Harry S. Truman, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) welcomed aboard country music bands Gloriana and Rushlow for an overnight visit and concert in the ship's hangar bay Nov 7.
Gloriana, comprised of brothers Mike and Tom Gossin, Rachel Reinert and Cheyenne Kimball, recently won "Breakthrough Artists of the Year" at the 2009 American Music Awards and is quickly becoming one of country music's hottest acts.
Both Gloriana and opening act Rushlow took the time to sign autographs and take photographs with crew members before and after their performances, and to express their appreciation to Sailors and Marines for their service.
"I'm simply in awe; as a civilian this is an experience of a lifetime," said Mike Gossin. "And to have the opportunity to fly out here is amazing. It's like a roller coaster ride. I love it."
Gloriana's visit was part of a Navy Entertainment-sponsored tour to help boost the morale of Sailors and Marines during deployment.
"The troops out here are defending our country and making it possible for us as a band to do what we do back in the United States," said Tom Gossin. "We love to show our appreciation and just getting the chance to come out here and give back is a really cool and memorable experience."
Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Sheila Corbin, who grew up 15 minutes away from Rushlow lead singer, Tim Rushlow, said she appreciated the opportunity to sing the National Anthem before two bands she admires.
"It really is a heartwarming experience and a very special moment in my life to have the honor to sing our anthem before the bands performed," said Corbin. "I am a big time fan, so singing in front of my shipmates, Rushlow, and Gloriana was simply amazing."
Aviation Boatswain Mate [Handling] 3rd Class (AW/SW) Dlonta Brownt, was one of 24 crew members selected to have dinner with the bands.
"It was a great experience and a huge morale-booster to interact with Gloriana and Rushlow," said Brownt. "It's great to see people living out their dreams."
Prior to embarking Truman, the bands conducted a concert for the crew on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Nov. 5. The bands will also perform in front of other service members deployed in the 5th Fleet area of operations.
"Watching the bands perform made me feel like I was off-duty for the night," said Personnel Specialist Seaman Ryan Halpin. "I had a sudden boost of energy that will last the next six weeks. I love country music, and I think the Navy made a great choice inviting Gloriana and Rushlow out here to play for the crew. I have seen both bands perform live in Nashville and Jacksonville, Fla., however the performance on board Truman was one of the best concerts I have ever seen."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.