Visiting foreign ports from an aircraft carrier

My son Garrett Wanket and his girlfriend Rachael Thompson were aboard the USS George Washington Nuclear Aircraft Carrier, and finally made it back to America after being stationed on board the ship for 44 months. The past 20 months of that was being forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan. While in Japan, the ship went out to sea several times pulling in to ports in such places as Australia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Guam.

Garrett and Rachael both agreed their favorite port visit was Perth, Australia, where they enjoyed sand surfing, petting koala bears and feeding kangaroos. The petrified limestone formations in the Pinnacles, Nambung National Forest outside of Cervantes, Western Australia were great. They saw emus and kangaroos in this 184 square kilometer park. They visited in early July, and although the best time to see the wildflowers is August through October, they still found the park to be very unique.

They also found it very challenging to order cuisine in other countries. The waiters didn't speak English and the words were in foreign languages. Usually they would look at the menu and point hoping it wasn't the neighbor's dog or worse. In Singapore and Manila they found the presentation of the food to be exquisite. I saw some pictures and the details were so fancy that it had to taste good.

Now they have been issued new orders to the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa, New York. They report in on Dec. 29 after having 46 days to get from Japan to New York and find a house to rent. Then they have to fly to Virginia to get all their belongings out of storage units and drive a moving van to New York and get unloaded into their new home. Their travels didn't stop there because as soon as they finished that large feat, they flew to Indiana to see some of Rachael's family.

Last Thursday they flew here to Minden for a few days and as this column is being read they are on their way to Alabama to pick up their dog at Rachael's mom's house before boarding another plane to New York. All this before reporting to work on the 29th. I'm tired already. Welcome back to America kids and thank you for your service.

Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.


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