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Press Release

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

CONTACT: Kristin Barney Adams
Phone: (312) 632-0000



CHICAGO - As the USS Abraham Lincoln steams home from the Persian Gulf, a new support organization - Friends of the USS Abraham Lincoln is being organized by a small group of Illinois business leaders to help ease the lives of the families of those enlisted Sailors and Aviators who serve on this great ship.

Friends of the USS Abraham Lincoln is the latest in a long tradition of private groups organized in cooperation with the United States Navy to help our nation's Sailors. It is the first organization that will allow Illinois residents and businesses to both directly help military families and honor the timeless legacy of America's greatest president. (We are also asking for National Support.)

Co-Founder of “Friends”, Stephen Barney, Jr. said, “By the time the USS Abraham Lincoln reaches its home port in Everett, WA, the personnel on the Lincoln will have been at sea for the better part of 10 months, the second longest deployment in the history of the US Navy. As the Sailors mounted the obstacles of war, their families faced the challenges of home life. Unfortunately, the salaries of men and women in our armed services - especially enlisted personnel - don't go very far. A number of military families are forced to make ends meet through the use of food stamps and other government subsidies.

A Seaman First Class aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, who has served less than two years in the Navy, earns a little more than $16,000 per year, and an additional $150 per month for any time when stationed in a “combat zone”. While military personnel receive “allowances” for food, clothing and housing for their dependants, they are nonetheless among the lowest paid members of the nation's work force. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the base salaries of only five occupations rank lower than that of enlisted servicemen and women.”

Co-Founder Stephen Barney, Jr. continues “Friends of the USS Abraham Lincoln has been created to ensure that “Abe's” Sailors return home to more than joyous hugs and thankful hearts”. One hundred percent of donations will benefit the enlisted crew and families of the USS Abraham Lincoln, because “Friends” has already received support for its administrative expenses.

Barney continued to say, “We wish to provide this support in numerous ways, including establishing a college scholarship fund created for the children of enlisted Sailors who have served on Abe, holiday shipments of toys, and special birthday presents to the children of Abe's deployed crew.” Contributors and patrons of the organization essentially will be “adopting” the USS Abraham Lincoln and its large family. And - most importantly - their gifts will help boost the morale aboard Abe when the ship is at sea.

We earnestly seek your support, creativity and involvement. To quote the ship's former Commanding Officer, Captain K.L. Card, “There is nothing that instills pride and professionalism in our Sailors more than the appreciation and support of the people they defend.”

All of the donations to this non-profit corporation will go to the spouses and dependants of the enlisted sailors and aviators who are currently or have served on the USS Lincoln.

For more information about how to contribute (financial or gifts-in-kind) to Friends of the USS Abraham Lincoln, please contact Kristin Barney Adams at (312) 632-0000 or visit our website at WWW.USSABE.ORG.



Friends of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)
130 South Canal, Suite 9T • Chicago, IL 60606 • (312) 632-0000