NORFOLK-- Their husbands’ ships were days away from returning home to Hampton Roads, but as tensions continued to mount in Israel, the Navy decided to reroute the vessels.
Navy wives who spoke to 13News seemed to understand that sometimes changes happen when you’re a military family.
“It was disappointing but we were kind of expecting that anything could happen,” said Andrea Jarrell, whose husband Todd is a sailor aboard the USS Iwo Jima.
The Pentagon confirmed Monday that the USS Iwo Jima, along with the USS Gunston Hall and the USS New York were sent back to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to await further orders.
Several international news agencies have reported that the ships could be used for humanitarian evacuations.
Jarrell said the wives she’s spoken to are coping with the news. “I think most of them are like we are, disappointed, because plans had to be shifted and moved around. And I think pretty much there’s a lot of support here in Virginia, here at home, and we’re doing the best that we can.”
Christiana Lara’s husband, Pablo, is a hospital corpsman aboard the USS New York. She said changing situations overseas can always bring about changes to deployment schedules.
“I’ve been a Navy spouse for 12 years and with that comes a lot of flexibilities,” Lara said.
She added, “I’m proud of my sailor and all of the sailors and Marines. And we all know we have a mission and that mission sometimes may take a little longer but that’s what we’re here for.
The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group has about 2,000 sailors and 2,300 combat-ready Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The deployment extension is open-ended. A Navy spokesman told 13News the ships have no specific task at this point, and the change is a “prudent” move.