It has been a long journey for the soon to be “Sioux City,” one that wouldn’t have happened without the support of people and businesses here in the ship’s namesake city.
Since 2012 when Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus first informed city leaders about plans for the “Sioux City,” the area’s patriotism has proudly been on display.
Hundreds of individuals, as well as businesses large and small, asking to be part of a once in a lifetime event.
Mike Wells, CEO of Wells Enterprises says, “The opportunity to associate our company name with this initiative is great. It creates some awareness but I think what it really does for me and my family is the pride that our employees have in being involved and associate with something that is this important.”
Stepping up has never been an issue for community and business leaders. Siouxland Chamber of Commerce Exec Director Chris McGowan says that Siouxland’s pride and participation are unmatched when it comes to the “Sioux City”.
McGowan says,” I’ve been involved with development and the promotion of Siouxland for 15 years. There are certain things that you see over time that make you feel incredibly proud of your hometown. Some people harking back to the response of flight 232 others will look back to the response to the flooding of 2011. I’d put Siouxland’s response to the USS Sioux City in a category that basically reflects on the caliber and character of this community. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and really impressed folks on the east coast and with the U.S. Navy.”
Mayor Bob Scott adds, “It certainly is the pride of our community. 500 of our citizens are going there. That’s amazing. We thought we’d be lucky to get 100 and we’re taking 500 so that’s really neat I think.”
Mike Wells adds, “I’ve got 10 grandkids and I think a lot about not only my responsibility to the next generation but now to my kids and an opportunity to do something like this and associated our business name and family name along with the city where I was born and raised, this is an amazing opportunity.”
Dollars and cents don’t tell the whole story, but thanks to business leaders like Wells, more than a half million dollars has been raised locally to help defray the cost of the commissioning celebration.
The “Sioux City” and Siouxland will forever be linked and it’s impossible to predict what the long-term impact on our community will be.
McGowan says, “I think this is a wonderful opportunity to elevate our profile in an area that we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do so.”
Among those making their way to Annapolis for the commissioning are several graduates of the US Naval Academy, like Dr. Jeff Kellogg and Dan Holzricher. Tim Seaman will share their story Wednesday in a report from Annapolis, Maryland.
Join KCAU9 throughout the rest of the week for more stories from the U.S.S. Sioux City Commissioning. You’ll be able to watch the commissioning live Saturday morning at 8am Central Time by logging onto our website.