USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, At Sea (NNS) -- The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, took a whirlwind tour of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Dec. 21, answered crew questions, dined with the crew and passed along the well wishes of America.
Myers received a briefing from TR battle group commander, Rear Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, and then addressed the chief petty officers in the CPO Mess.
Afterward, he ate lunch with the crew, including TR's current Sailor of the Quarter, Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Grayzna Maklary. She said that the general impressed her with his concern for the crew and the families back home.
"He was very open to our concerns, and he wanted to know how our families were doing back home," Maklary said. "He told us that back home everyone has flags flying and there is tremendous support for us."
Maklary also said that he asked about crew morale and was pleased with how the mission is proceeding.
After lunch, Myers addressed the crew in an all-hands assembly in Hangar Bay 2. In front of a crowd of more than 1,000 Sailors, Myers said that America, and the President, are pleased with what TR has accomplished since deploying in mid-September.
"(The President) is proud of you and of what each of you is doing," Myers said. "And, you are setting a record in the hearts of the men and women back home."
Myers looked ahead during the all-hands assembly to where the mission might take the crew.
"You have a special flag on board, and, the authorities willing, you'll be able to steam in New York harbor and carry it back into New York and deliver it appropriately," he said, followed but a roar of approval from the crowd.
He avoided speculating on whether TR would be headed to Somalia or Iraq after the mission is complete in Afghanistan. Myers noted the next mission could be in several arenas and could be in the background of other ways to battle terrorism.
In the next phase of the war against terrorism, Myers said, "It might not be fought just with soldiers and Sailors. It might also be fought with people wearing green eyeshades, trying to cut their finances out."
As he departed, he wished TR's crew happy holidays and had more good words about what the ship had accomplished.
"Everyone back home is so proud of you," Myers said. "America has really counted on you and, by golly, you've delivered in a way that only maybe bin Laden, the al Qaeda and the Taliban can really understand. Thank you for them."
For information on USS Theodore Roosevelt, go to http://www.spear.navy.mil/tr.