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Serving The Nation On "The Big Stick"

This piece was originally broadcast on Nov. 21, 2008.

"It's a deadly serious business. There is no room for error. ... Everyone here has to bring their 'A-game,' every day."

Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith marveled at the precision, skill, courage and dedication of the crew of the sprawling aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, where fighter jets take off and land, one after another, at all hours, to and from missions over Afghanistan, to support ground troops there.

Smith went, and took viewers to, the floating city in the concluding part of The Early Show series, "Destination Unknown."

The ship's namesake, Theodore Roosevelt, used to say, "Speak softly, but carry a big stick." The crew calls the carrier "The Big Stick."

It's on active duty in the north Arabian sea, some 7,000 miles from New York, where Smith's journey began:

Some 4,400 sailors, 500 of them women, are on board.

Smith watched in awe as jets came and went:

He gave viewers an idea of what everyday life is like on the carrier:

And chatted with female sailors:

Smith's trip was arranged with the help of luxury travel network Virtuoso.

The Early Show would also like to thank Qatar Airways and The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain.
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