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Navy cruise unites families with sailors returning home

After an eight-month deployment in the Persian Gulf, the USS John Stennis picked up the sailors' family and friends for a six-day cruise from Hawaii to San Diego. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.

After an eight-month deployment, the USS John C. Stennis headed home from the Persian Gulf where it played a vital role providing air support to troops in Afghanistan.

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But on its way back it had another mission -- to pick up family and friends in Hawaii so they could experience life aboard the Stennis.


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Aaniya Dorrah tries on a firefighter's suit on the John C. Stennis.

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A "Tiger" wears a cranial while getting a tutorial on the Navy's F-18 fighter jet.

The "Tiger Cruise" is the Navy's special take on bringing your loved one to work. 

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The Lemons family, Samantha, Michael, and Micheal Jr., watch the Navy's air power demonstration aboard the USS John C. Stennis.

More than 1100 family members and friends gathered to join the crew for a six-day cruise. The 'Tigers' are any friend or family member of the sailor, with the exception of spouses or significant others, invited to experience life, and sailors' duties, out at sea.

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A family of "Tigers" gathers on the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis before departing Pearl Harbor.

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All the sights and sounds that accompany the sailors' work on board made memories that will last these families a lifetime. 

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The American flag flies off the stern of the USS John C. Stennis in Pearl Harbor with the USS Arizona Memorial just behind.

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An F-18 fighter jet sits atop the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis.