Sunday, November 20, 2011

Toilets not working on Bush aircraft carrier

Toilet Troubles Add to Sailors' Deployment Stress
November 15, 2011
by Corinne Reilly

It may seem like a trivial inconvenience in the scheme of things, but it's become routine enough that some sailors aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush say it's affecting their morale, their health and their job performance: Since the ship left for its maiden combat deployment in May, its toilet system has suffered outages so frequently that crew members sometimes can't find a single working commode.

Over the weekend, the mother of one Bush sailor became so upset by her son's repeated reports of widespread toilet outages that she blasted a news release about it to reporters across the country.

"The sailors aboard the USS George H.W. Bush have already endured nearly six months with an unhealthy 'inconvenience' that most civilians would not tolerate for six hours," Mary Brotherton wrote. "The taxpayers are outraged over the living conditions of the men and women onboard."

Brotherton's son, Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Frakes, said in an email interview that on some occasions he's searched almost an hour to find a working head, the Navy's term for a toilet.

"It definitely affects my morale," said Frakes, an aviation mechanic. "When I was unable to relieve myself for two days, I was irate to say the least."
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