NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Music echoed off of the walls of USS Harry S. Truman's (CVN 75) hangar bay, the smell of assorted foods filled the air and the sight of children's painted faces brought smiles. The Friends and Family Day Cruise was a day of laughter and pride, as families came from all over the country to experience a day on HST.
"We wanted to do this to show gratitude to the families for their support," said Cmdr. Andy Macyko, ship's navigator and Friends and Family Day Cruise coordinator. "I saw kids smiling and parents proud. The family support strengthened," he said. "I think that's something very positive. The crew is proud and trains hard."
For many families, the best part of the cruise was seeing the ship and the Sailors do their jobs. For others, it was the air show that took their breath away; being able to stand on the flight deck and not only see but also feel a sonic boom.
"We have the Truman on our church bulletin every week. It's nice to see the people we're praying for and experience their lifestyle. You are all very special people," said Sherrie Taylor, mother of Master at Arms 2nd Class (AW/SW) Billy Taylor.
"I thought the air show was great. Being able to see it up close and feel the power," said Mike Huey, a family friend of the Taylors.
"I liked walking around the ship. It's big but small at the same time, because it's so crowded," said George Garcia, nephew of Personnelman 2nd Class (SW) Jose Martinez Jr.
The ship was crowded with close to 2,700 guests in attendance. Not all of the guests were friends and family. Some guests were people affilliated with the ship, including Truman Foundation members and shipyard personnel.
Upon short notice, the planning for the cruise got off to a rough start. Macyko relied heavily on previous results from October's cruise for ideas of what to expect.
"The day after I got back from the first Post Overseas Movement, we started planning and there was no one there. I wanted to get the ball rolling and time was short," said Macyko.
It took hard work from all of the ship's departments to make the cruise come together. Supply handled the food, Administration took care of tickets, Air Department took charge of the flight deck and hangar bay, and Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department handled parking. Each had their mission, and together, they made it a success.
"The ship works well together. People talk and communicate. 'Team Truman' is not just a saying," said Macyko.
As the ship returned to the pier, another Friends and Family Day Cruise had ended. Yet the sadness of leaving was replaced by a feeling of pride. Families were proud of their sons, daughters and spouses, and Sailors were proud of their ship. The cruise had been a success.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.