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Newest Navy Destroyer Named After Former Senator Carl Levin

DETROIT (WWJ) -- Naval officials made a special visit to Detroit on Monday to officially announce that long-time former Senator Carl Levin will have a destroyer named after him.

A number of top state dignitaries were on hand for the announcement that came from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

"Destroyers are named for heroes," Mabus said. "Carl Levin is an American hero, whether it was serving here in the attorney general's office or on the city council or chairing the armed services committee, one thing has always been true -- as Senator [Gary] Peters said, he has spent his entire career looking out and fighting for American men and women."

Levin said he is proud to have his name on a U.S. Navy combat ship.

"When Secretary Mabus called me and told me this, there were literally tears in my eyes," Levin said. "I did not expect it, I didn't seek it. But to be connected with the navy, particularly to have learned as much about the military as I learned in 36 years -- although I had never served in the military -- is such an honor for me to be connected with the men and women who put on our uniform, who put their lives on the line.

The destroyer -- USS Carl M. Levin -- will enter the fleet in 2020.

"Carl Levin -- the ship -- has yet to take on enemy fire," Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow said at the ceremony. "Carl Levin -- the senator -- waged legislative battles on behalf of all of us, the people of Michigan, for 36 years and he wore those battle scars with pride."

Levin retired from the U.S. Senate in 2015 after 36 years in office.

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