I always knew I was going to serve, I just didn't know when. I was studying fire science in school, but I was kind of slacking off. I remember being on YouTube looking at all of these crash and salvage videos. I started emailing the guy who had uploaded them. It turned out he was in crash and salvage back in the 70s. He told me all about their jobs and the schools they can attend. I emailed a couple other Aviation Boatswain's Mates (Handling)., and everything I heard about ABH was all positive. I knew that's what I wanted to do. ABHs are the only ones who have fire trucks and I would be getting hands-on firefighting training.
When I first got to the ship three years ago, I remember thinking, "this place is huge!" I didn't think I'd ever be able to see everything around the ship. Now if you ask me where anything is, I can tell you where it is and take you right to it in less than two minutes. The ship seems so small now.
People always associate the Navy with the aircraft carriers, and it's a surreal feeling sometimes. Living on an aircraft carrier is not at all like living at home. Out to sea, our roof is the flight deck so when planes land you hear it -- and when they turn the planes on, you definitely hear it.