Damaged Sub, USS Hartford, Returns

Kelsey Waits ran at least 30 yards before she leapt into her husband's arms.

Ensign Chris Waits was one of the first officers off the USS Hartford because the couple was designated for the traditional "first kiss" of a naval homecoming.

"Been a heckuva first deployment," he said, after prying himself away from his bride for a brief interview. "I'm really excited to be home with my wife."

Nearby, Chief Petty Officer Eric Gemaly was getting the "first hug" from his fifteen-month-old son Ryan, who was wearing a Boston Celtics uniform.

"He is a Celtics fan," said Gemaly. "We'll act like we don't know what happened," he said, referring to the Celtics' recent loss in the NBA Playoffs to the Orlando Magic.

But nobody on the pier at the sub base wanted to talk about what happened March 20 in the Straits of Hormuz.

The Hartford, a $2-billion nuclear submarine, collided with a surface ship full of Marines.  No one was hurt but the sub was seriously damaged.  It's been one month since it left Bahrain where its sail was repaired and its skipper was replaced.

It's been one month since Hospital Corpsman Chris Yaras's daughter Ella Louise was born.  He saw her for the first time on the pier.

"It's great to be home," he said.

The submarine had to remain at the surface of the oceans as it returned to Groton, instead of cruising beneath the waves.  The collision is still under investigation by the Navy.  A spokesman says the crew will stand down til July, when the Hartford goes down the Thames to Electric Boat for a complete assessment of repairs it still needs.

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