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Troop Salute Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Peterson U.S. Navy

by Bear

A 2010 Appleton East High School graduate and Appleton native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working aboard one of the country's multi-mission combat ships.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Peterson, a boatswain's mate whose job includes line handling, refueling, maintaining, and preserving the ship is serving aboard the San Diego-based guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76).  Higgins returned in October from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. 

"I am continually grateful for the effort my crew displayed during deployment and after our return to San Diego. The dedication and professionalism they put forth daily reaffirms their commitment to their country and the naval service," said Cmdr. Nicole Shue, commanding officer of Higgins.

 The USS Higgins is 505 feet long and 59 feet wide and weighs nearly 8,700 tons. Twin gas turbine engines push the ship through the water at more than 30 mph.

"I love the people on the ship," says Peterson. "They are almost like a second family. I  live with them, work with them, and spend nine months together [on deployment] with them. ," said Peterson.

Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute multi-mission evolutions such as surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-air warfare.

Peterson said it is an exciting time to be in the Navy, and serving aboard a ship is something he never expected to be doing just a couple years ago.

"I've climbed Mt Fuji and  seen about six different countries," says Peterson.  "Compared to others I've grown up with, I've seen more of the world. It really opens your eyes." said Peterson.