NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — What a great way to start the weekend for some local military families.
The USS Mahan Arleigh Burke-class destroyer returned home to Norfolk on Friday.
The crew has been deployed for about seven months as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Group.
The ship came in with the tide Friday afternoon to Naval Station Norfolk. WAVY was there for the homecoming festivities.
Navy wife Capri Francis said the time away from her husband was hard. The family didn’t go out as much as she wanted to and she had to manage the house on her own.
“Being stuck at home wasn’t very nice and no help, no break,” Francis said, adding that now they’re going to get used to being a family of four with a new baby, instead of a family of three like they were before the deployment.
“I’m going to let him decide what he wants to do because he’s been gone for so long, so he gets to choose,” Francis said.
Meanwhile, the family of LTJG Terrence Mulvey was also waiting for his arrival.
“If he wants to go to the beach, we’ll go to the beach and do some paddleboarding,” said his father, Kevin Mulvey.
“Seven months ago, we left from Norfolk. We traveled the world and now we’ve come back,” said Chris Cummins, commanding officer of the USS Mahan.
The deployment was some 41,000 miles and used about four million gallons of gas, Cummins said.
“What’s been really amazing is that we’ve deployed in the face of the COVID pandemic. And watching this crew go through seven months of only being able to pull into the piers, but make the most of every second they had on that entire cruise, has been phenomenal,” said Cummins.
He continued: “You take that most challenging part of being away from your home and then turn it into your biggest strength because the crew becomes your family.”