It was a bittersweet day for the Carr family as they watched sailors disembark the ship named after their loved one for the final time today during the ship’s decommissioning ceremony Wednesday.
“This was almost in a way like a funeral, a goodbye,” said the Carr family member, Juanita Carr Rush.
The USS Carr was named after Juanita Carr Rush’s brother, Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Paul Henry Carr.
The family traveled all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma just for the ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.
“It was not something I was going to miss. It was the sadness that there would no longer be a USS Carr,” Carr Rush said.
In its 27 years, the guided-missile frigate did everything from conducting maritime interception operations in the Arabian Gulf to catching drug traffickers in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
And the USS Carr was the first on scene in 1988 to rescue 89 sailors from the attack submarine USS Bonefish when it caught on fire.
For the Carr family, those last final moments of the ceremony were almost more than they could handle.
“What was going through your mind when you saw the sailors disembark for the final time,” we asked.
“Oh, well, that was hard. There were tears welling up knowing that this would be the last time that this ship would be manned by the US Navy,” family member, Jeffrey Rush said.
There are eight Carr siblings and Juanita Carr Rush is one of the four that’s still alive.
As for the future of the USS Carr, it will be sent to an inactive ship office in Philadelphia, where it could be sold to a foreign country.