(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
What is it like serving on one of the US’ largest ships for 297 days?
Chewelah is a land-locked community several hours from the nearest seaport. Save for some flooding in the spring, water isn’t a large natural feature of the area.
But 2017 JHS grad Aspen Katzer has probably seen enough water for the rest of us after serving on the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln for over 290 days. It was the longest deployment by an aircraft carrier since the Cold War. The ship travelled 70,000 miles, carrying over 6,600 crew members within its three-football-field-long-hull.
“Returning home, it still doesn’t feel real,” Katzer said. “I feel like this is just another port call and that we leave tomorrow, so I’ve been cramming a lot into my days, scared that we leave again soon.”