Efforts to raise a half-million dollars in support of the U.S. Navy’s new USS Arlington have passed the halfway point, organizers say, and the effort appears to be picking up momentum.
About $280,000 in donations is in hand or on the way, said Jim Pebley, vice chairman of the USS Arlington Commissioning Committee.
That local group is working with the Navy League of Hampton Roads to raise funds for a tribute room on the ship and to support commissioning ceremonies, set for April 6 in Norfolk.Among recent contributions is a $10,000 donation from Virginia Hospital Center.
“We’re making a lot of progress,” said Pebley, but, noted Arlington Treasurer Frank O’Leary, who is chairing the finance committee for the effort, there remains “a long way to go.”
A website has been set up to keep the public informed about plans for the commissioning ceremony.
As an amphibious transport dock, the USS Arlington’s main mission will be to deliver up to 800 Marines and their equipment, including aircraft, to hot-spots around the world.
The name “Arlington” was chosen to honor those who died in the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon and to salute the first responders who saved portions of the building from collapse.