USS Dewey Hopes To Carry Navy Admiral's Legacy

It was a sparkling toast to the "USS Dewey" as hundreds of military, families and dignitaries gather to celebrate a ship with a glistening future and an unforgettable past.

"It's not just a name; it's a legacy," the Dewey's sponsor Deborah Mullen said.

She vows to help the ship's future crews and the families they leave behind while onboard.

"It really does impact the mission, and the ability of the mission to be accomplished. I'm really passionate about making sure the families are ready, just as the ship is ready," Mullen said.

The Dewey boasts 9,200 tons of cold steel, making it one of the largest and most powerful destroyers in the Navy.  It's the third ship to ever hold the name, and will carry nearly 300 men and women.

But it's more than the massive size that sets this destroyer apart. It's the history behind the name "Dewey" that will help the ship sail forward.

"I think that will be with them whenever they step on board. They will always remember Adm. Dewey and what he stood for. And I think that will show in their pride, and as they take the ship out to sea and visit the various countries, I think that will be very evident in everything they do," Mullen said.

Jeff Pribet served on the second Dewey ship in the 70's. He lives in New Jersey, but wanted to see the christening in person.

"It kind sent a shiver a little bit," Pribet said. "It just means a lot more to know that I have a legacy attached to it," Pribet said.

And just as the Dewey's predecessors have served valiantly, Pribet says this ship will sail with a legacy of courage and the promise of freedom.

The husband of the ship's sponsor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen was on hand today as the ceremony's principal speaker, in addition to Congressman Gene Taylor and several other dignitaries.