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Families Bid Tearful Goodbye to USS Decatur

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    Families of the Navy sailors aboard the USS Decatur gave some tearful good-byes Friday morning, after one of the deadliest month this year for U.S. troops.

    "We're proud of our boy," Navy mother, Denise Chester said through tears.

    Families Bid Farewell to USS Decatur

    [DGO] Families Bid Farewell to USS Decatur
    Families of the Navy sailors aboard the USS Decatur gave some tearful goodbyes Friday morning. (Published Friday, Aug. 17, 2012)

    Families at Naval Base San Diego Friday morning said they felt pride, mixed with the harsh reality of recent deaths of U.S. service members in the Middle East.

    “I'm very scared," Chester said.

    It's a journey, all brand-new, for some, including for the Chester family.

    "God bless them and bring them back safe. It's our first deployment for us and for my son," Chester said, again, through tears. "I know it's dangerous, but God's got this, so they'll be ok."

    Her husband Doug Chester added, "I'm confident they'll be safe. There's so much support out there."

    As for how the nearly 300 Navy men and women are feeling, heading out so soon after recent U.S. troops were killed, Joel Ellingson, Commanding Officer USS Decatur said, "I think it's natural that there's a little bit of reservation and trepidation, but my crew's been working very, very hard."

    And as they raise the U.S. flag, and wave goodbye, their families dwell on the sailors' dedication both on, and off, the USS Decatur.

    Billy Martin, a Navy cousin, said, "I'm just gonna miss him because he's always done great things for me, he's always standing up for me."

    Martin’s cousin, and Navy wife Lori Cooper added, "It's always heartbreaking when they leave.'

    But it makes the transformation worth it.

    "The Navy has made him into a man," Chester said, "but he'll always be my baby."

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