US Navy sailors travel through Idaho to connect with their namesake vessel

Friday March 18th, 2022

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BOISE, Idaho (CBS2) — US Navy sailors from the east coast are touring Idaho right now. Today the group stopped at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery.

“We’re honored to be here today in our namesake state and walking around this heroic site as a reminder of the legacy we inherited on day one,” said USS Idaho Commanding Officer Nicholas Meyers.

The sailors were joined by former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne as they walked through the Idaho Veterans Cemetery.

“It has been just a powerful moving experience,” said Mathew Merriman a Reactor Controls Assistant

These sailors will soon be serving on the USS Idaho. It’s on schedule to be christened in the summer of 2022 and commissioned into active US Navy service in the summer of 2023. This is the first Navy vessel to be named after Idaho in over 100 years.

“It’s a nuclear-powered attack submarine,” said Meyers.

Out of over 100 crewmembers, these sailors were chosen to spend a week in Idaho.

“I’m in charge of the mechanical systems on the ship,” said William Donahue, a Nuclear Mechanic who will be serving on the USS Idaho.

The group is learning about the state to establish a bond between Idaho’s citizens and the sailors.

“Our fighting spirit, our morale, and welfare of our crew matters every day,” said Meyers.

They have traveled from states like Maryland, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

“It’s been a long journey, but it’s very cool,” said Donahue. “I’ve never seen all this scenery and landscape, this space. It’s all very beautiful.”

The crew has found hospitality and connection to the beauty of our state.

“I’m just really proud to have been selected to be a part of the USS Idaho, the state’s great Navy background really is something to be very privileged to represent,” said Merriman.

During the Idaho trip, the USS Idaho Commissioning Committee organized visits the Idaho Legislature and the McCall Winter Carnival. A snowmobile trip to Burgdorf Hot Springs and a visit to the Idaho Historical Museum are also in the plans.

The group will also take part in civic events.

US Navy sailors travel through Idaho to connect with their namesake vessel