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USS Missouri Sailors Aid Tornado Victims in Namesake State

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Submarine Group 2

GROTON, Conn., June 1, 2011 – Eight sailors assigned to the USS Missouri, a Virginia-class attack submarine, left their homeport here today to assist with recovery efforts after a tornado tore through their ship’s namesake state last month.

The sailors elected to take leave for a week to assist tornado victims and clean-up efforts in Joplin, Mo.

"The real story here is simply Americans helping Americans,” said Navy Cmdr. Timothy Rexrode, Missouri’s commanding officer. “I am so proud of our sailors, and I continue to find inspiration every day in the commitment of these young men to serve their nation, making a difference in the lives of others.

“The efforts of these sailors are consistent with what we see in these types of events,” he continued. “Our sailors are everyday people taking time away from work and spending their summer vacation budgets to help out where they can."

The sailors participating in this relief effort are Lts. j.g. Joe Innerst and Ryan Sullivan; Chief Petty Officers Mike Shea, C.J. Kohlhofer and Andy Scott; Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Fenley; and Petty Officers 2nd Class Travis Fitzgerald and "Pat" Patterson.

The Missouri sailors will be volunteering with Americorps, the American Red Cross and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency.

"Our crew's affiliation with the state of Missouri and its people is quite strong,” Rexrode said, “and we prize that affinity in the tradition of our ship's motto, 'United We Stand.'"

Rexrode and his crew sent their prayers and condolences to the people of Missouri on May 22.

Missouri is the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the "Show Me State."


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