NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. – After four months away, sailors on the USS Sioux City are finally back with their families -- and one met a new face Friday when he returned from deployment.
Lt. Jacob Ware’s son, Lincoln, was born in April and the two met for the first time Friday morning.
“I’m glad he got his mom’s looks,” Ware said. “That’s what I’m thinking. [Lincoln is] handsome. I’m just beyond blessed to be holding him right now. I’m glad to be home.”
“It’s definitely been rough,” said Lauren Ware, Jacob’s wife. “But we have had great family support. Both sides of our family have been amazing and came to visit us all the time.”
The 70 sailors returned home after working to get drugs off the streets in Central and South America.
“[I’m] ecstatic,” Lt. Cmdr. Mantrako Crockett said after getting off the ship and reuniting with his family. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen them. It looks like they’ve grown a couple of inches. I was excited to see them.”
His wife said the feeling was mutual.
“We are so excited,” said Shaquita Crockett. “[Our three kids] have been asking all summer, ‘When is it going to be time? When is the day coming?’ Today is finally the day, so we’re all excited. That’s all they talked about this morning is how excited they finally are to have him home.”
The sailors’ work included operations with the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, France, and Puerto Rico to stop 2,833 kilos of cocaine and 170 pounds of marijuana from being smuggled.
Capt. Wade Smith said he is grateful the operation was a success.
“There is nothing like accomplishing a mission with your fellow service members and to bring everyone home safe,” he said. “As we like to say, all 10 fingers, 10 toes, no loss of life, that’s the No. 1 accomplishment for me. We left with everyone and brought everyone home. So, it’s a great deal.”
This was the second deployment for USS Sioux City within the last year.