Suffolk sailors attend Enterprise event

Published 7:30 pm Saturday, December 15, 2012

Four U.S. Navy sailors from Suffolk took part in the inactivation ceremony for the USS Enterprise recently.

Navy Seaman Meghan R. Carter, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Melvin L. Demiel, Navy Airman Andrew D. O’Connor and Navy Chief Petty Officer Sheu O. Yijsuf were among nearly 12,000 past and current crewmembers, family and friends to attend the event.

Carter is the daughter of Suzanne E. Carter and Richard W. Carter, both of Suffolk. She is

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a graduate of King’s

Fork High School and joined the Navy in March 2010.

Demiel is the son of Cathy D. Jackson and Melvin Demiel, both of Suffolk. He is a 1993 graduate of Nansemond River High School and joined the Navy in June 1993.

O’Connor is the son of Elizabeth Yeomans of Suffolk and Mitchell O’Connor, of Manlius, N.Y.

O’Connor is a 2006 graduate of Nansemond River High School and joined the Navy in March 2009.

Yijsuf is the son of Lara and Laja Yijsuf of Suffolk. He joined the Navy in April 2001.

Enterprise recently completed its 25th and final deployment and returned to its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled inactivation, held prior to the ship’s terminal offload program and subsequent decommissioning.

The inactivation ceremony was the last official public event for the ship and served as a celebration of life for the ship and the more than 100,000 sailors who served aboard.

The Chief of Naval Operations, the Comm-ander of United States Fleet Forces, nine of 23 prior commanding officers, many decorated war heroes and thousands of Enterprise veterans attended the event.

In honor of that spirit, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, in a video message played at the ceremony, announced that the name Enterprise will live on as he officially passed the name to CVN-80, the third Ford class carrier and the ninth ship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name.

Commissioned on Nov. 25, 1961, the eighth ship to bear the illustrious name Enterprise, the “Big E” was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

A veteran of 25 deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Middle

East, Enterprise has served in nearly every major conflict to take place during her history. From the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to six deployments in support of the Vietnam conflict through the Cold War and the Gulf Wars, Enterprise was there.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Enterprise aborted her transit home from a long deployment after the terrorist attacks and steamed overnight to the North Arabian Sea. “Big ‘E’” once again took her place in history when she launched the first strikes in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The ship’s lifetime has included every major conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis. It has been home-ported in both Alameda, Calif., and Norfolk, and has conducted operations in every region of the world.