For centuries, U.S. Navy ships have had female sponsors who christen the vessels. It is said that the sponsor's spirit and presence guides the ship throughout its life. Public officials and wives of senior naval officers serve as sponsors for many of the ships named after places.
The Oregon's sponsor is Dana Richardson, wife of Admiral John Richardson, the Chief Of Naval Operations and a submariner. Richardson, a native of Corvallis, Oregon, said she wants to use what she's learned over 35 years as a military spouse to help sailors and their families. She said their unique way of life is rewarding, but also challenging.
"We already have a pretty big family, five kids, but I feel like now I'm gaining a bigger family," she said. "My family is expanding to include dedicated, committed sailors and their families, and I'm looking forward to being a part of their lives."