GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — In celebration of Tri-Cities Navy Week in Greeneville, officials unveiled a mural depicting the USS Greeneville Navy submarine on Monday.
The new mural is located on a wall outside of the Greene County partnership building and is the 13th mural to be added to a ‘mural trail’ in downtown Greeneville. It was painted by Greeneville native, Joe Kilday.
“I am very proud of this community and proud of the boat, proud that I worked at Greeneville Industries and that this represents many people in their families,” said President of the USS Greeneville, Dale Long. “Grandfathers, dads, moms, sisters that worked on this boat.”
The USS Greeneville was named after the town, and Long told News Channel 11 that parts of the submarine were built in Greene County.
“I’ve been on the boat a couple of times, and there’s components all over the entire submarine that you can see it’s built here in Greeneville,” Long said. “So that’s sort of special that you can go on a submarine and see parts built by people in Greenville, Greene County. But we’re proud. We’re proud of the boat.”
Past and current USS Greeneville Navy sailors were in attendance at the mural’s unveiling on Monday.
“The support we get from Greeneville, there isn’t another commissioning or crew committee out there that measures up to what Greenville can do for us,” said Daniel Dumitrache, chief of the USS Greeneville. “The job that we ask our guys to do, our sailors to do day in and day out, it’s hard and it’s all that little much better when there’s somebody out there that’s showing us some love and some support.”
Dumitrache has been on the USS Greeneville for two months now. This is his third submarine that he has worked on. As the chief of the vessel, he is the captain’s, right-hand man.
“It is very challenging,” said Commander Robert Lane, captain of USS Greeneville. You have to think we have this very large machine that I put 164 sailors in. We work continuously around the clock.”
Commander Lane started his navy boot camp in April of 1992, the same day the keel of the USS Greeneville was laid. He started his navy career the same day that the ship he now commands was being built.
“Not knowing that at the time, I think it was very fortuitous that I got to command,” said Lane.
He spent the morning at Greeneville High School talking with students. Lane values the support from the Greeneville community.
“The town of Greenville the support they get from here is just simply amazing,” said Lane. “It’s unmatched. Out of all the submarines that I’ve been on, any of the commands that I’ve been stationed with, we’ve never had such a tight tie to the community than I’ve seen here in the town of Greenville. It’s just simply amazing.”
The mural of the USS Greeneville is a staple for the Greeneville community for generations to come.
“We worked hard as a community,” Long said. “We worked hard representing small-town America, and this mural here will surely be seen by many and make sure that everybody does not forget the Greeneville, which I don’t think that will happen. But, we got a mural now. We’re proud of it.”
USS Greeneville is now stationed in Kittery, Maine receiving upgrades at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. After time there, it will move to San Diego, California.