U.S.S. Sioux City crew members at Graceland Cemetery in Sioux City

Sailors from the soon to be commissioned U.S.S. Sioux City are spending the Veteran’s Day weekend in the town for which their combat ship is named.

This marks the second straight year that Command Master Chief Timothy Hardin has spent Veteran’s Day weekend in Sioux City. “This year, we wanted to do it again but bring different people. So, me and the commanding officer and the executive officer brought seven different people here so they visit and kind of connect the link between the ship Sioux City and the City of Sioux City,” Hardin said.

The crew members, on Thursday, set up flags at Graceland Cemetery and along Lakeport Avenue. This morning, they took part in a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Sioux City Public Museum. On Saturday, the crew will attend two Veterans Day breakfasts, serve lunch at the Gospel Mission and attend a Sioux City Musketeers hockey game Saturday night.

Hardin, who has served in the Navy for 25 years, said this weekend will be a great experience for his crew. “You get to meet the people and learn the history of the town named for the ship,” Hardin said. The crew’s training is wrapping up at the U.S.S. Sioux City’s current port of Marinette, Wisconsin.

The ship will be launched in the summer of 2018 with a week-long celebration in Maryland. Nearly 100 sailors are expected to be assigned to the ship. The U.S.S. Sioux City is part of a class of vessels that will be deployed close to shore for combat and security missions.

Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City