MAYPORT, Fla. – A Moody native, Seaman Jared Held, is one of more than 1,000 sailors who recently returned to Naval Station Mayport after a six-month deployment to the Middle East and Mediterranean areas of operation.
Held is serving aboard the New York, an amphibious transport dock ship that takes Marines to the locations they need to support U.S. interests around the world.
A Navy seaman is responsible for preservation of the ship overall.
“We earn our pay by working really hard within our jobs," Held said.
Held credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Moody.
“I learned to work hard and have a strong work ethic,” Held said.
The New York is a memorial to a horrific tragedy and spectacular heroism from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. More than 7 tons of reclaimed steel was integrated into the ship’s bow structure from the World Trade Center.
From the ship’s commissioning Nov. 7, 2009, to this day, the New York stays true to its motto, “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”
Along with Empire State sailors, Marines were embarked from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). As part of the Amphibious Ready Group, these forces provided maritime security and crisis response, bringing a U.S. naval presence to Europe and the Middle East.
The New York made a seven-day stop in Piraeus, Greece, where more sailors and Marines enjoyed the opportunity to meet with their hosts as both nations are committed to promoting peace and stability in the region, according to Navy officials.
“Aboard New York, we are proud of what we accomplished on our recent deployment,” said Capt. Brent DeVore the ship’s commanding officer. “We made important contributions to maritime security throughout the Mediterranean and strengthened our relationships and partnerships throughout the area.
“Our sailors and Marines provided a ready team to execute the full range of amphibious missions wherever and whenever we were needed.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Held is most proud of completing his first deployment, which lasted six months.
“I hear the first one is the hardest, but I worked hard and made it through,” Held said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Held and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“I am proud to continue a family tradition of serving in the military and to be first in the Navy,” Held said.
-- Jesse Hawthorne is a mass communication specialist 1st Class with the Navy Office of Community Outreach.