Lorenzo native, Idalou grad serves in Pearl Harbor - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lorenzo native, Idalou grad serves in Pearl Harbor

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brittany Deleon (Photo By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jesse Hawthorne) Petty Officer 2nd Class Brittany Deleon (Photo By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jesse Hawthorne)

Provided by Navy Office of Community Outreach

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Erica R Gardner

PEARL HARBOR – A Lorenzo, Texas, native and 2010 Idalou High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brittany Deleon, an operations specialist, is serving where U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters is located.

As an operations specialist, Deleon is responsible for helping to control F-18 fighter jets and aid them when going into combat.

"I wanted to get away from a bad relationship and decided to join the Navy and experience something new," said Deleon.

According to Navy officials, the U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world's largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth's surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.

Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means that Deleon is serving in a part of the world that is taking on new importance in America's national defense strategy.

"Our sailors in Pearl Harbor are doing an excellent job at warfighting and supporting the warfighter," said Cmdr. Hurd, chief staff officer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. "Historically, Pearl Harbor is a symbolic base of sacrifice and resiliency. Today, on every Navy ship and shore facility's flag pole, the First Navy Jack, 'Don't Tread on Me,' flies reminding sailors to move forward and build on the history and legacy of this country and the U.S. Navy."

The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades, according to Navy officials. The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world's population, many of the world's largest and smallest economies, several of the world's largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.

The Navy has plans, by 2020, to base approximately 60 percent of its ships and aircraft in the region. Officials say the Navy will also provide its most advanced warfighting platforms to the region, including missile defense-capable ships; submarines; reconnaissance aircraft; and its newest surface warfare ships, including all of the Navy's new stealth destroyers.

"My mom told me I am the first female to join the military," said Deleon. "I feel honored to be the first in my family. My parents are very proud of what I do."

Deleon's proudest accomplishment was earning two Navy Achievement Medals. One for volunteering in Sri Lanka helping out kids with education. The other was for an end of tour award.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Deleon and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

"Serving means giving back to the country, experiencing different cultures and learning there is a much bigger world out there," added Deleon.

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