The day that a serviceman returns home from a long deployment is usually a highly emotional scene for all concerned. And Californian sailor Chris Daugherty can certainly attest to that, especially after being greeted by his family and friends on his return from duty in June 2017. The naval officer had not been on the pierhead in San Diego very long before he discovered that his wife, Natasha, had been keeping a life-changing secret from him while he was off shore.
Chris, 28, and Natasha, 29, are residents of Temecula, just north of San Diego, CA. As of June 2017 the Daughertys had three children together – a son of ten, and two girls, one four years of age and the other an 18-month-old toddler. But, unfortunately, Chris’ role as a petty officer in the U.S. Navy inevitably takes him away from the family home from time to time. The head of the household serves as a cryptologic technician, an important and valuable position which involves analyzing encrypted communiques and deciphering data in other languages.
And the first half of 2017 was one such time that the father was absent from the Daugherty’s home in Temecula. In January that year, Chris had embarked on a six-month sortie aboard the USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier based in San Diego. The vessel was ordered to patrol the Indo-Asia Pacific region, joining a number of other ships to strengthen the presence of the U.S. Third Fleet in the area. However, Chris’ deployment took a very worrying turn not long into the ship’s mission.