September 9, 2011 -
The wardroom of USS STOCKDALE (DDG-106) took the opportunity to visit Mrs. Sybil Stockdale, the wife of the ship’s namesake, VADM James B. Stockdale, and ship sponsor. The officers spent the afternoon with Mrs. Stockdale at her home in Coronado, CA.
Mrs. Stockdale was shown a video tour of the ship, including short interviews from crew members. The USS STOCKDALE sailors shared their favorite stories from the ship’s recently completed deployment over cheesecake. At the end of the visit, Mrs. Stockdale was presented with pictures of the ship from deployment, and a unique picture of VADM Stockdale in the cockpit of a plane. "It was incredible to meet Mrs. Stockdale, and to see all the tributes to VADM Stockdale’s courageous leadership that he earned over his career," said ENS Carson Noble.
VADM Stockdale is renowned for his exemplary leadership while held captive as a Prisoner of War in the Hoa Lo prison in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. As the senior officer in the prison, he used covert communication to unify the American prisoners and led the resistance movement against the guards who tortured and tried to exploit the prisoners, knowing that by doing so he would face excessive harm to himself. During those seven years, Mrs. Sybil Stockdale remained a pillar of strength, not only for her own family but for the rest of the country. She organized the League of American Families of POWs and MIAs, which placed pressure on the government to acknowledge mistreatment of American POWs and to provide more support for families of POWs. For her actions, Mrs. Stockdale was awarded the U.S. Navy Distinguished Public Service award.
It was an incredible honor for the STOCKDALE wardroom to enjoy an afternoon with Mrs. Stockdale in her home. Mrs. Stockdale’s support of the ship and her crew strengthens the traditions and connections to U.S. naval history, and provides inspiration and purpose that will last for generations to come. The USS STOCKDALE crew will always honor their ship’s awe-inspiring history and, staying true to the ship’s motto, "Return with Honor".