Lisa Browning, Midlothian ISD Payroll Specialist, recently took a cruise, and it was on a U.S. aircraft carrier … the USS John C. Stennis. She was on a Tiger Cruise – an opportunity provided by the United States Navy for sailors’ family members (spouses are not eligible) to experience life at sea.
Ms. Browning’s son, Third Class Petty Officer Clay Roberson, age 24, serves on the USS Stennis. She joined him on the ship in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor. The cruise started on a Tuesday and it ended the following Monday in San Diego.
To introduce the ship and its workings to the Tigers – the name for family members on the cruise – the Navy designed a scavenger hunt. The hunt took them everywhere. One thing Lisa noticed is that it’s all work and no play for the sailors.
The Tigers ate in the mess hall. The food was O.K. Some of the sailors shared with Ms. Browning that the food was actually better than usual.
Sleeping accommodations were cramped, Lisa recalled. In a small room there were three bunks on each of two walls, and a 2 feet path between the sets of bunks. The bunks were 24 inches wide and maybe there was 24 inches of head space between them.
One memorable highlight was the air show. From vulture’s row (on the tower), Lisa saw planes take off and perform bombing runs.
Lisa said it was a great experience and that she would most definitely recommend it. However, when asked if she would do it again, the answer was a polite but unwavering, “No, once is enough.”
We are proud of and thankful for Clay Roberson’s service. God bless all of our service men and women.