ETCS(SS) William Mast at Marker's Mark

Loretto, Kentucky, March 7, 2009 - Emblematic of a namesake visit, USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) Blue Crew chief of the boat Senior Chief Petty Officer William Mast has just enough time to dip his finger in one of Kentucky's traditional products.

Louisville, KY – Five sailors from USS Kentucky’s (SSBN 737) Blue Crew made a quick visit to the namesake state March 5-8. During their visit, they visited a regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, attended a high school basketball tournament, met with local businesses, veterans, and fellow service members.┬áVisiting were commanding officer Commander Alan Holt, II, chief of the boat Senior Chief Petty Officer (SS) William Mast, junior officer Lieutenant Junior Grade Jeremy Dawson, sailor of the year Petty Officer 1st Class (SS) Matthew Hendl, and junior sailor of the year Petty Officer 2nd Class (SS) Christopher Hintzman.

The trip began with a visit to Frankfort on Thursday, where all were recognized on the floor during the sessions of both the House and Senate. That evening, the attended the Boys 5th Region Basketball Tournament at Marion County High School in Lebanon. During half time of the second game, they were welcomed to center court where they made a presentation to the school.

Friday began with a number of media interviews and then a visit to Fort Knox, where the Marines of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division provided an M-1A1 orientation. Next stop was a visit to retired Navy Captain Frank W. Stewart, former commanding officer of USS Louisville (SSN 724) as well as two other submarines. Stewart is now the general manager of wood products at Hillerich & Bradsby, manufacturers of the legendary Louisville Slugger. Chairman John Hillerich, III provided a tour of the corporate offices, factory and museum. The next stop was a visit to spend time with the children at Louisville’s Home of the Innocents.

On Saturday, Holt and Mast were interviewed by The News Enterprise on the square in Hodgenville, Kentucky and made a brief visit to Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site. Everyone then received a tour of Maker’s Mark Distillery. The highlight of the evening was dinner with the Vietnam Helicopter Pilot’s Association and Mr. Joe Galloway and Lieutenant General Harold “Hal” Moore, respectively the guest speaker and honored guest, the joint authors of We Were Soldiers Once and Young.

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