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Toilet troubles plague sailors' deployment on carrier Bush

By Published: November 15, 2011

Problems aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush are coming to a head, so it seems.

According to a report by the Virginian-Pilot, the ship has a major problem with its toilet system and some sailors say it's affecting their morale, their health and their job performance. In fact, the toilet outages are so common that crewmembers at times can't find one toilet aboard the ship that works, the newspaper reports.

The angry mother of one Bush sailor sent out a news release about the defective toilets.

"The sailors aboard the USS George H.W. Bush have already endured nearly six months with an unhealthy 'inconvenience' that most civilians would not tolerate for six hours," Mary Brotherton wrote, according to the Virginian-Pilot. "The taxpayers are outraged over the living conditions of the men and women onboard."

Brotherton's son, Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Frakes, said in an email interview with the Virginian-Pilot that on some occasions he's searched almost an hour to find a working head, the Navy's term for a toilet.

Other Bush sailors told the Navy Times that they've resorted to urinating in showers and elsewhere, and that some crewmembers have developed infections after resisting urges to use the bathroom.

Training aircraft line the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.
LEONARD ADAMS/COURTESY OF THE U.S. NAVY

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