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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

Jacksonville Jaguars Welcome USS The Sullivans Crew home from Deployment

by Ens. Kelly Harris, USS The Sullivans (DDG68) Public Affairs
03 December 2021

The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the crew from USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during their Salute to Service game this past Sunday, Nov. 28.
The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer returned home from a seven-month deployment Nov. 24, just in time to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their loved ones. In celebration of their homecoming the crew was honored for their sacrifice and service, during the Jaguars home game against the Atlanta Falcons.
“It’s an honor to welcome home Sailors from USS The Sullivans and commemorate their return from deployment with a special recognition during our annual Salute to Service game,” said Jaguars Chief Community Impact Officer, Whitney Meyer. “Their tireless efforts in defending our freedom are important all year round, but for which we are particularly grateful this Thanksgiving season.”
The crew had the opportunity to present the American flag during the opening ceremony and was able to meet and greet some of the players prior to kick off. The Jaguars team and staff were incredibly welcoming to the crew and showed incredible Navy support.
“I am immensely proud of what the crew of The Sullivans has accomplished this year, representing our Nation as part of the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group 2021 with the HMS Queen Elizabeth,” said Cmdr. James Diefenderfer Jr., the ship’s commanding officer. “Having our efforts recognized by the local community, specifically by the Jacksonville Jaguars, is truly special.”
The Sullivans is named to honor five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa who served together on the USS Juneau during World War II. The Sullivan brothers: George; Francis; Joseph; Madison; and Albert; lost their lives during the Battle of Guadacanal on Nov. 13, 1942. They were adamant about serving together in spite of the Navy wartime policy to separate family members.
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