By Megan Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Sailors help maintain America’s advantage at sea. This means they do not always get to celebrate holidays with their loved ones. A Pittsburg, California, native serving in the United States Navy will celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with her fellow sailors aboard USS Gravely. The guided missile destroyer’s homeport is Norfolk, VA and has a crew of approximately 320.
“The holidays, to me, are a soft reminder of the strength that unity and love can bring to the people around you,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kianna Carrethers. Traditionally, I’d be home, singing holiday favorites with my family!”
Carrethers wants family back home to know they are missed this holiday season.
“As the holidays approach, I’d like to remind my family to continue to strive for the closeness our grandparents implemented in our lives,” said Carrethers.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Carrethers, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance.
“Serving in the Navy is special to me because it’s a reflection of my own resiliency and determination,” added Carrethers.
USS Gravely is one of the Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class of Aegis guided missile destroyers and is named after Vice Admiral Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr. He went from recruiting to building a Navy career that lasted 38 years and included many distinguished accomplishments. Gravely became the first African American to command a US Navy warship (THEODORE E. CHANDLER DD 717), the first African American to command an American warship under combat conditions (TAUSSIG DD 746), the first African American to command a major naval warship (JOUETT CG 29), the first African American to rise to the rank of Vice Admiral, and the first African American to command a U.S. Fleet (Commander, US 3rd Fleet).
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.