By Ensign George Strickland
USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) Public Affairs

The guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) welcomed the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steven Giordano for Thanksgiving dinner while operating in the Red Sea, Nov. 24.

Richardson and Giordano joined the Sailors of Roosevelt to thank them for their service and sacrifice away from their families during the holiday season.

"It's been an absolute honor to be here on Roosevelt today," Richardson said. "I can't think of a better place to spend Thanksgiving than here with you."

During their time aboard, they toured the ship and met with Sailors. 

For many Sailors, this was their first major holiday deployed away from their families.

"I think it was nice of them to take time away from their families to come see us since we couldn't be with our families," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Maggie White.

Petty Officer 1st Class Deshane Banks appreciated the magnitude of the CNO's visit.

"It let us know we were thought of, even though we are thousands of miles away from home," Banks said.

Richardson and Giordano expressed their appreciation for the Sailors' hard work and stressed the importance of the mission.

"We protect America from attack and maintain America's influence throughout the world," Richardson said. "Here, we are protecting the free flow of commerce, including our own, through these strategic choke points, and we will do this from the sea floor out to space."

MCPON also helped serve a Thanksgiving meal to the crew with the ship's Chiefs Mess and first class petty officers.

Roosevelt has been deployed since June 1, as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG), in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.