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Homecoming for 2 Fil-Am sailors aboard US aircraft carrier

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:38:00 06/29/2008

ILOILO CITY, Philippines–They found themselves in mud and floodwaters, but it was a homecoming nonetheless for two Filipino-American sailors working on the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier whose assets are being used in relief operations in the flood-ravaged Western Visayas.

Both sailors are Ilonggo and were allowed a break from their duties at sea to be with their families in this province, one of the worst-hit by typhoon “Frank” (international codename: Fengshen), said Lieutenant Ron Flanders, USS Reagan Public Information Officer.

Some 400 of the 5,000 US Navy men on board the aircraft carrier “have ties to the Philippines,” Flanders told reporters here.

Seaman Grace Geroche went to her mother Edna’s house in Iloilo City, whom she found “up to her neck in water,” while her brother was sleeping on the ceiling.

“It’s very hard for her, so we flew her daughter off the ship to meet with her, it’s very emotional,” Flanders said.

Another sailor, whose name Flanders could not immediately recall, went home to Iloilo to clean his house off mud.

“[He is] one of the sailors came here two days ago, and his wife had him cleaning the mud out of their house, so he had to fly ashore. He was working on the ship now he’s cleaning mud out of his wife’s home,” Flanders said.

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney toured Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Alexander Yano on the USS Ronald Reagan on Sunday, after the military chief delivered relief supplies here via a C-130 cargo plane.

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Written by joelguinto

Sun+00:002008-06-29T17:16:43+00:00+00:0006b+00:00Sun, 29 Jun 2008 17:16:43 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm06

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