USS Texas Gets Donation from Namesake State

USS Texas Gets Donation from Namesake State

The crew of the Virginia Class attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) received a saddle as a donation from the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo at the USS Parche Submarine Memorial Park, May 20.

“This is something the crew will see everyday that will remind them of the support they get from the community,” said Cmdr. Andrew Hertel, Texas’ commanding officer.

Hertel believes since the submarine community is one of the most secretive communities, its easy to forget the hard work that submariners put in everyday. Donations such as this saddle remind the Sailors how much they are appreciated.

Hertel said the donation is a visible sign, of support for the submarine, from an organization with many ties to the military.

“Its one thing to hear it, its another to see it,” said Hertel.

Currently, the submarine has 30 crewmembers from the state. Hertel said there is so much pride on the ship, that he can not think of another state in the union that has more pride than Texas.

Hertel said this is the beginning of a long relationship between the submarine and the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo. Hertel met the organization through the USS Texas Commissioning Committee. He wants to see the saddle stay with the submarine for the next 30 years.

Along with the saddle, the submarine also has 8 foot long horns, tables in the crew’s mess that are decorated to represent Texas heritage, as well as other various artwork showing off Texas pride.

Hertel said the saddle is a fully functioning saddle that is hand crafted from thousands of man hours of work, consistent with the hard work of the crewmembers on the submarine.

For Machinist Mate 3rd Class Brendan Abernathy from Plano, Texas, the saddle reminds him that his home state continues to care.

“It makes me feel great that we have a lot of appreciation and support from organizations from my home state,” said Abernathy.

Commissioned Sept. 9, 2006, Texas was the second Virginia-class attack submarine constructed and the first submarine to be named after the Lone Star State.
The state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Press Release, May 22, 2013; Image: US Navy