Rose Festival
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John Paul Jones Visit to Portland Rose Festival Brings Sailors Home
Story Number: NNS060610-02
Release Date: 6/10/2006 11:51:00 AM

By Journalist Seaman Angela Grube, Northwest Region Fleet Public Affairs Center 

PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) arrived June 8 in Portland, Ore., to participate in the 99th annual Rose Festival.

The visit also allowed some of the ship's Sailors to visit home.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Rebecca Meyer is from Prineville, Ore., and is going to see her family for the first time in three years.

“I’m very excited and can’t wait to see my nieces and nephew,” said Meyer. “I’m going see some high school buddies on the first night. Then I want to take my family to the zoo, and even white water rafting.”

Damage Controlman 3rd Class Paul Swayze grew up in the Portland area and expects to have a good time back in his hometown. 

“I’m going to hang out with my two brothers and our grandparents,” said Swayze. “We are looking forward to seeing the parade.”

Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Cole Lafferty is also from Portland and is happy about the timing of the trip.

“It worked out great because my cousin is graduating this week,” said Lafferty. “Saturday, we are all getting together for a graduation party so I’ll get to see all my friends and family.”

Even though JPJ’s Command Master Chief Charlie Ratliff isn’t from Portland, his family came in to visit him during the Rose Festival.

“My wife flew into Portland from San Diego,” said Ratliff. “That way we get to enjoy it together. I’m very happy to be able to spend the time with them.”

Ratliff also said this is a well deserved port visit for the crew.

“Everyone here works very hard, and they should have a good time out there.”

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