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KNOXVILLE — Sailors onboard the USS Tennessee, a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, have received a special gift of support from the University of Tennessee.

UT’s Office of Public Relations sent Tennessee t-shirts to the sub’s 170 crewmembers before they shipped out recently from the U.S. Naval Base at King’s Bay, Ga.

“These shirts will be such a nice morale booster for the crew of the USS Tennessee while they are away,” USS Tennessee Ombudsman Sheryl Speight said. “To know they are recognized and appreciated for the job they do means a lot to them.

“I would like to personally thank the university and the great state of Tennessee for supporting their namesake USS TENNESSEE and its sailors.”

Back Row: SN Black, STS3 Seymore, ET2 King, ET1 Baker, ET1 Alcorn, MM3 Boyd
Seated Middle: MM1 Sisk, MSC Brimley, MS2 Smith, MM1 McCoy
Front Row: LTjg Oliver, CDR A.J. Camp, Jr. (Commanding Officer), SN Begorich

Speight contacted UT in March to see if garments bearing the “Tennessee” name were available.

The shirts, sponsored by AM South Student Lending and SunTrust Bank, had been used by UT’s admissions department for recruiting and college fairs. Those sent to the USS Tennessee are leftovers from last year’s sessions.

Lt. David Oliver, is an engineering officer on the sub and a UT nuclear engineering graduate from Collierville, Tenn.

“My experience at UT helped prepare me for what I am doing now. It gave me a broader understanding of the nuclear field,” Oliver said. “I thank UT for that academic experience and the entire crew thanks them for the t-shirts.”