USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Miss America 2011 visited USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), May 7-9, and performed for thousands of Sailors while aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
While Teresa Scanlan has participated in many United Services Organization (USO)-sponsored events since being crowned Miss America in January 2011, the visit to Lincoln was her first to a deployed U.S. naval ship. She also visited Sailors on the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) for several hours, May 8.
"When I first walked on the ship, I was shocked and amazed at how big it was," Scanlan said. "I got to see some really cool things while on board, like going on the flight deck while flight operations were going on."
During her visit, Scanlan signed autographs, posed for photographs, ate lunch with crew members, learned about various jobs Sailors perform on the ship and accompanied the ship's band during a concert in the hangar bay. Scanlan and the band played various cover songs, including one song on the piano that she performed while competing in the Miss America pageant.
While on stage, Scanlan expressed her appreciation and thanked the Sailors for their service and for their sacrifices on behalf of their country.
"It may sound cliché, and I can't say it enough, but there are no words to express my gratitude," Scanlan said. "There's no way I can ever say 'thank you' enough. Our whole country-every American is saying 'thank you.'"
Scanlan, who will start college in August, said military service is something she has considered for her future. After law school, she said she might join the Navy to practice military law as a judge advocate general before eventually embarking on a civil law career.
Cape St. George and Lincoln are currently deployed with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, which also includes embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Destroyer Squadron 9, comprised of the guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). CSG 9 is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and combat flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.