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USS Oklahoma City Crew Makes Namesake Visit

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Ever since the USS Oklahoma City was commissioned in the late 1980s, the crew has always had a strong relationship with the city it's named for. On Wednesday crew members toured Tinker AFB base before stopping by to talk with students at Mt. St. Mary's HS Ever since the USS Oklahoma City was commissioned in the late 1980s, the crew has always had a strong relationship with the city it's named for. On Wednesday crew members toured Tinker AFB base before stopping by to talk with students at Mt. St. Mary's HS
OKLAHOMA CITY -

It's a rare namesake visit to our city for a group of sailors. Six crew members from the USS Oklahoma City are in town this week.

Ever since the USS Oklahoma City was commissioned in the late 1980s, the crew has always had a strong relationship with the city it's named for. On Wednesday crew members toured Tinker Air Force base before stopping by to talk with students at Mt. St. Mary's High School.

It wasn't a typical day in history class. Commander Andrew Peterson and Junior Officer of the Year Alex Culpovich spoke to students here about life in the Navy.

"I get to drive a 7,000 ton hot rod around the seas of the ocean doing the United States government's bidding, and it's an awesome job," Peterson said. "We train, do a lot of training with the guys then we also on the flip side ask a lot of them as well."

Along with four other crew members from the USS Oklahoma City, they're visiting from Guam, where they've been based for the past few years. Today they fielded questions from students.

"It's a great source of inspiration to myself," Declan Basile said.

Basile's dad joined the Navy the day after 9-11.

"It's been tough at times. He leaves periodically," Basile said.

Declan wants follow in his footsteps and join the naval academy. Peterson shared his experience about the day he got a call from a recruiter and decided to join.

"He said, ‘How'd you like to go see a submarine?' [I said] ‘I'm an engineering major, I'll go see a submarine. That's pretty cool,'" Peterson said.

They're to inspire other future sailors like Declan. 

"Willing to give up so much of your life to that lifestyle is such a heroic act," Basile said.

Most of the crew members have never been to Oklahoma City. This afternoon, they're at OU Children's hospital, providing hats for young patients in the oncology unit. They'll be in town until Saturday

Peterson also led a prayer downtown today for the victims in the naval yard shooting earlier this week.

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