Coronado, Calif.—The USS Abraham Lincoln ended a nearly 7 month deployment Saturday, that included feeling the tsunami that hit Hawaii following the 9.0 earthquake that rocked Japan on March 11.
"There was a little surge, but it did not damage the boat," said Admiral Mark Guadagnini
The carrier covered 43 percent of the surface of the earth's oceans, according to Admiral Guadagnini. "We did counter piracy operations, we did safety of life at sea, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and supported coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The USS Lincoln is based in Washington state, but has several hundred sailors from San Diego stationed onboard. The ship will remain at North Island until Monday, when it will continue its journey north back to Whidbey Island.
Several families were given VIP status to see their sailor first, before other families. One of those was Monica Anderson, who had a baby while her husband Eric was deployed.
"It's been a very long deployment," said Anderson. "We have five kids and just had a baby. I know she's missed her daddy and I know he's missed her and he doesn't want her to grow up anymore until he can spend some time with her."
"She's amazing, so beautiful," said Eric Anderson, holding his daughter for the first time.
Dawna Stowers waited with the VIP families too. She said waiting while the ship is docked, but before the sailors deboard, is the hardest part.
"They're here but they're so far away," said Stowers.
Stephenie Ferguson started crying when she saw her mom for the first time in 8 months.
"It was a long haul but there was a lot of work to be done, we dropped a lot of bombs and carried on the mission for our country, carried on our fight." said Ann Ferguson, who is one of the ship's counselors.
"This is my first time having my mom gone like this, it's been hard but it feels good that we're back," said Stephenie.
The USS Lincoln was in Hawaiian waters when the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit. They said they felt a few waves and swells when the tsunami hit Hawaii, but nothing significant.
Admiral Guadagnini said they were prepared if the ship had been damaged.