Iowa Sailor Checks in From Guam on USS Roosevelt
On Saturday, the Daily Mail published an Associated Press report that thirteen sailors aboard the USS Roosevelt have tested positive for a second time with COVID-19 after recovering in Guam where the aircraft carrier is docked.
Connor Sauter, from Cedar Rapids, is stationed on board the USS Roosevelt. His father is Troy Sauter from Ironworkers Local #89. Troy updated family and friends on a Facebook post over the weekend that Connor has been tested three times, and so far all results have come back negative.
The USS Roosevelt had sent nearly all its crew members ashore on Guam for quarantine or isolation last month, shortly after Captain Brett Crozier wrote to Navy officials about his concern for the crews' health and safety. Croizer was criticized by the Navy for his actions and later relieved of his duties. He has since been reassigned amid speculation he may be reinstated.
The Associated Press said the 13 sailors who had previously tested positive had been isolated for a minimum two weeks, but are now quarantined once again.
We asked Troy if Connor could write to tell how he and the other sailors are doing during this pandemic. Connor also told us why he decided to join the Navy, and what his duties include:
I enlisted right after high school to pay for college and to see the world. My duties as a catapult and arresting gear electrician include maintenance of all switches, motors and motor controllers of all aircraft related equipment, and general electrician for air department.
My shipmates and I have been keeping busy watching Vikings, American horror story or doing tarot card readings when we’re not working. The general worry is about when and how we’re going to get everyone home and if we’re going to be allowed to leave when we do.
More than 2,000 of the ship's crew are now back on board the USS Roosevelt, but at least 1,000 sailors still testing positive remain on land. One sailor has died from the virus. Meanwhile, the Navy continues working to ensure the crew's safety.
Like his dad, Connor seems to be taking it all in stride. Stoic and strong, just what you'd expect from an Ironworker and a Sailor.