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USS ILLINOIS SSN 786 Commissioning Weekend

USS Illinois and its crew

The USS ILLINOIS and part of its crew.

It was such an honor for us to be a part of the USS ILLINOIS Commissioning Celebration. Mark & Teri Wenzel, owners of Illinois Sparkling Co., and eight of their family members made the trip out to Groton, CT, for this historical occassion. Here are some of our more memorable pictures. One of the most memorable activities, however, was when we were able to tour the inside of the submarine. We weren't allowed to take pictures, but it was simply an awesome experience. The crew toured us through the three levels of the sub - from the machine room to the torpedo room and everything in between. This submarine is simply amazing! 

Blend 786 and commissioning glasses

Illinois Sparkling Co. Blend 786 with the souvenir glasses given to VIP guests at the Commissioning VIP Dinner as well as at the Commissioning Ceremony. The glasses contain the USS ILLINOIS crest. 

USS Illinois CommissioningMichelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama being escorted by Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Petty Officer, David DiPietro, to the commissioning platform. We had great seats for this photo!

Mark and Teri Wenzel with Commander Porter of the USS Illinois

Mark & Teri Wenzel, owners of Illinois Sparkling Co. with Commander Jesse Porter holding a bottle of Illinois Sparkling Co. Blend 786. This bottle of sparkling wine, which is a duplicate of the bottle used to christen the submarine, will be placed on the submarine and remain on the sub throughout its entire service. 

USS illinois commissioning michelle obama waving

First Lady Michelle Obama waves to us after her tour of the submarine. 

Programs for USS Illinois Commissioning

August Hill Winery& Illinois Sparkling Co. are listed in one of the commissioning celebration programs.

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