Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guardians of the flight deck: Crash and Salvage

By ABHAN Jonathon D’araujo

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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Volunteering in Cambodia

by HM1 (SW/AW) Jonna Obermiller

For as far back as I can remember I’ve had a passion for the dental field, it probably stemmed from the fact that my uncle was a dental lab technician in the Navy. I remember being in his lab playing with wax on the lathe and in his drawers of plastic teeth.

I joined the Navy a little over 13 years ago as a deck seaman. I was a striker and knew I wanted to be a dental  tech. At the time we had two separate ratings – DT (dental technician) and HM (hospital corpsman).  When the two ratings merged I had the NEC 8752 (basic lab technician) and now 8708 (dental hygienist), so I’ve always worked in dental.

Shortly after the ship moved to Washington I was looking for a way to get involved in the community doing something that I was passionate about. I found an organization called Medical Teams International that has mobile dental units that provide free dental care to low income and the homeless in the Seattle area. This became the perfect volunteer opportunity for me. I made good friends, later learning about the international volunteer opportunities the organization offered and before I knew it I was planning my first trip to Cambodia with MTI.