Father and Son Shipping Out on Deployment Aboard Carrier Truman

At first, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Davis didn't want anyone to know.

It was April 2014. He'd just checked in aboard his first ship in the Navy, the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman.

His father, Lt. Cmdr. Kent Davis, had joined the ship's crew only a few months earlier.

On Monday, the father and son shipped out together from Norfolk Naval Station.

The son's first deployment in the Navy will be the father's last.

On a ship with some 5,000 crew members, having multiple members of the same family on board isn't unprecedented. But a father and son?

"It's an unusual situation," the elder Davis said. "I couldn't be prouder of him."

Jordan Davis, 20, has warmed to the idea, too.

Initially, he'd hoped to keep it quiet.

He's a junior-enlisted ordnance handler, helping move bombs on the Truman's 4.5-acre flight deck. He was worried shipmates might give him a hard time if they figured out his old man was the officer in charge of overseeing flight deck operations.

There was no keeping it secret.

The Truman's commanding officer gleefully announced the rare relationship to the crew.

The ship's in-house newspaper followed up with a story.

The teasing, though, wasn't unbearable. And Jordan Davis worked hard to earn his own way.

"Now I feel fortunate," he said, hours before shipping out. "I'm blessed that I can have him here."

Dad feels the same: "This is my last deployment, his first full deployment. It's a great opportunity to be together as father and son and watch him grow in the Navy and serve our country."

The father-son cruise comes at a volatile time overseas. Once on station in the Middle East, the Truman will launch fighter jets in support of the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Son will help get the bombs on the aircraft; Dad will be watching from small windows inside the flight deck control office.

How did this even happen?

It was Mom's idea. She nagged. Jordan relented. Dad pulled some strings.

But now, as the Truman steams across the Atlantic at the start of a seven-month mission, Lori Davis is beginning to have second thoughts.

Sure, she likes the idea of her husband keeping a watchful eye out on her second-born while she holds down the fort back home in Suffolk.

But ...

"If I would have realized this was actually going to happen, maybe it would have been better to have them on two different ships after all," Lori Davis said. "That way they'd deploy at different times, and I'd still have somebody to mow the grass. Now I've got nobody."

And who's going to take the trash out? she wonders.

"That's what I want to know."

Show Full Article