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Anaheim native serves aboard USS Thomas Hudner

A 2013 Katella High School graduate and native of Anaheim, California, is serving aboard USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), a guided-missile destroyer, currently conducting operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

Seaman Jason E. DeLaCruz is a boatswain’s mate responsible for preservation of the ship and working with the aviation team.

“I assist in launching the helicopters off the flight deck and I maintain the ship to make sure it’s mission ready,” DeLaCruz said. “I enjoy performing evolutions and missions, and working with the team to accomplish the tasks at hand.”

Thomas Hudner is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer homeported in Mayport, Florida, named in honor of U.S. naval aviator Thomas Hudner, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in trying to save the life of his wingman, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, DeLaCruz’s proudest accomplishment is earning the qualifications needed to become part of the aviation team and to be Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, DeLaCruz, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“I joined the Navy because nobody in my family has done it before and I didn’t want to pay for college,” DeLaCruz added. “It got me somewhere new where I didn’t have to work a nine-to-five job, and I can do something new and different.”

This article was written by Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach.

Seaman Jason DeLaCruz, left, attaches a barrel to an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter. Photo courtesy of the United States Navy.
Seaman Jason DeLaCruz, left, attaches a barrel to an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter. Photo courtesy of the United States Navy.