Friends of the United States Navy,
The Commissioning Committee for the USS IOWA (SSN 797) has the privilege of providing civilian support to the IOWA and her crew as the boat begins service in defense of our nation and honoring the legacy of the great state of Iowa. I freshly remember the day I raised my right hand and took the oath of enlistment to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I am sure that either you or someone you know has taken the oath. Participating in the commissioning of the IOWA gives us all a chance as civilians to support our national defense and those individuals who provide that defense. I, therefore, ask that you consider how you may assist in our efforts of supporting IOWA, either monetarily with a tax-deductible donation or through committee participation. Participation and funds from patriotic supporters such as yourself are needed for two reasons:
The commissioning ceremony for a Navy ship is a long-standing and revered tradition that promotes patriotism among those who attend and shows the crew of the newly commissioned vessel that the public appreciates the great sacrifices they make to defend our nation. A commissioning ceremony is costly, and Congress only provides very limited funds for basics such as bunting, attendee stands and bus transportation from a local hotel to the ceremony. To give the crew and the public the proper ceremony, our Committee must raise the funds and organize the ceremony and the accompanying celebrations.
Donated funds are used to buy items for the crew that are not supplied by the Navy, such as exercise equipment tobe used by the crew while at sea, and other amenities that make life easier for the crew as they months at sea in close quarters, and away from home and their loved ones, in defense of our nation. Funds are also used for plaques and other memorabilia that honor the crew for being ‘plank owners’ , which are the first crew members to man the ship.