By Air Traffic Controller 1st Class (AW/SW) Dawit Melaku
I'm in the military. Whenever you hear the word military, you always think offensive. You think-war, battles and what not. But the military does other things, like what we did for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Japan and earthquake in Haiti. The military is a big, big help to countries in need.
I was originally born in Ethiopia, and my family and I were refugees. We left to Kenya and shortly after, a company sponsored us to come to America. I was six years old when my family and I moved to the South Bronx. I went to college and got my degree in business management, but after September 11, I decided I wanted to be a part of the U.S. government because they did so much for my family and me. In order to do that, I needed to have either military or police background.
So, I joined the Navy. My first command was an amphibious assault ship, after it was decommissioned, I was stationed at Fleet Area Control Surveillance Facility San Diego. There, as a 2nd class, I was a Facility-Watch Supervisor which is the highest qualification you can get, and is usually reserved for 1st Class or above. When I was up for orders, I wanted to do what was best for my career. Everyone I talked to told me to go to a carrier. I selected a carrier and it just so happened to be USS Nimitz.