Hospital ship Comfort to return Monday Local child inspired song about missing her father, on board.

April 12, 1991|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Evening Sun Staff

The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is coming home, and on board will be Chief Mate Charles "Chip" Zulauf, the "daddy" of the song, "Santa, Can You Bring My Daddy Home?" recorded by students at St. Clare Elementary School in Essex.

The song honoring military personnel deployed in the Middle East was heard on local radio stations and sung live on ABC's "Good Morning America." It was written by Jane Matarozza, St. Clare's music teacher, and her husband, Daryl, a physical education teacher at the school at 714 Myrth Ave. It was inspired by fourth-grader Lindsey Zulauf, who had talked about missing her father.

The Comfort, in the Persian Gulf nine months, is to return to Dundalk Marine Terminal at 1 p.m. Monday.

A new song, called "Welcome Home," has been written for the occasion.

The Comfort was activated for duty on Aug. 8, soon after President Bush deployed American troops to Saudi Arabia in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

The crew now numbers 460 members. At the height of the conflict, there were 1,100 crew members, including medical personnel from the National Naval Medical Center and other East Coast medical facilities.

The Comfort, one of the largest military medical facilities in the world, has a 1,000-bed hospital, 12 operating rooms and a full range of medical and surgical capabilities.

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