November 20, 2011 by staff
For some of the warship’s 3,000 crew members and their families, the departure means a move to Norfolk, Va. There the Lincoln is scheduled for a four-year overhaul and refueling of its nuclear reactors to prepare the ship for another 25 years of service.
Sailors on the Abe have become tied to the local landscape and woven into the fabric of the community, Capt. John Alexander, the commander of the aircraft carrier, told the Daily Herald newspaper.
“We’re embedded in the schools, the soccer teams, the churches,” said Capt. Alexander. “The Lincoln has been a fixture in Everett for 15 years – 15 of the 22 years since the ship was commissioned. That’s a long time. We will leave a footprint.”
Alexander, like many other Lincoln crew members, must wait to see what happens after the Lincoln’s upcoming deployment in the Middle East and them the trip to Virginia. They’ll get new assignments next year. Some could return to work in Everett.
The idea of leaving Everett to move to Virginia is heartbreaking for Tracie Holley.
“I’m from the desert, so I fell in love with the Northwest. Even the rain,” said Holley, 28, the wife of Navy Airman Jeremiah Holley and mother of their toddler Miah Holley. “Anybody who gets stationed here is lucky.”
As the Lincoln makes its way to the Middle East, the carrier USS Nimitz, No. 68, is scheduled to tie up in January at its new Everett homeport, joining the current carrier group of frigates and destroyers based here.
For many, the Lincoln is an icon of the city.
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