Excitement, jubilation, and tears of joy filled the Everett Naval Station dock when three of its vessels arrived home October 12th after 7 months in the Persian Gulf.
Thousands of people, including the men and women of the destroyers USS Momsen, USS Shoup, and the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, greeted their families and friends, and some saw their newborn babies for the first time.
The excitement mounted for a couple of weeks building up to what became a heartfelt and very emotional welcome for Donna Harris, her parents, in-laws and friends of the family as they waited dockside for the USS Abraham Lincoln to arrive.
Her husband of twenty years was coming home on his last deployment of his eighteen-and-a-half year career.
FCC Glenn Harris, son of BJ and Brenda Driggs, of Grove, stood high above the crowd below, perhaps a hundred feet up on the carrier deck and saluted to his wife Donna, of McLoud, OK.
In their own unique way of responding, Donna and the rest of the family and friends below signaled back with their long running tradition of forming the letters “O” and “U” above their heads with their arms.
“We do this so he can find us in the crowd,” Donna said.
The “O” and “U” stand for Oklahoma University she explained.
She stood almost motionless as she waited for her husband. When they held each other for the first time in months, the gateway of emotions opened up and tears of happiness welled-up in Glenn’s eyes.
In a surprise, his wife was awarded a plaque which was presented to her pier-side by Master Chief Gross for her participation and support in the Group Nine staff families.
Donna is the daughter of Ray and Loretta Rowland of McLoud, OK. Glenn is the son of BJ and Brenda Driggs of Grove, OK. Donna and Glenn also own a home in Grove and will live here upon Glenn’s retirement.