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Union City native serves aboard Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ana Francisco has been in the Navy for seven years

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ana Francisco. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Weingart.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ana Francisco, a native of Union City, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex, according to Petty Officer 1st Class Patricia Rodriguez of the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

Francisco joined the Navy seven years ago. Today, Francisco serves as a culinary specialist.

“I joined the Navy for the college benefits and to travel,” Francisco said in a press release from the Navy. “Also for the fact that the Navy has ships and travels in the ocean.”

Growing up in Union City, Francisco attended Union City High School and graduated in 2015.

“I would like to send a shout out to my mom, Nancy Francisco,” said Francisco. “Thank you for supporting me and being there for me. I hope I make you proud, and I love you.”

Francisco relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Union City to succeed in the military.

“I come from a small town,” said Francisco. “The Navy is so diverse. When I joined the Navy I was very excited to meet new people from all over the country.”

These lessons have helped Francisco while serving with Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex. The Dam Neck site is located on Virginia’s Atlantic shore near where the first Jamestown settlers landed and where the infamous Blackbeard and other pirates were said to have buried treasures.

This area is also where battles of the Revolutionary War were fought, where Union and Confederate soldiers clashed during the Civil War, and where German submarines sank American shipping vessels within yards of the beach during World War II. Currently, the U.S. Navy uses the site for specialized training and support services to meet fleet requirements.

Serving in the Navy means Francisco is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy, according to the Navy.

“The Navy protects the waters and shows a forward presence,” said Francisco. “We also aid the other branches in transport. We’re always able and ready.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

Francisco and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I’m proud of when I advanced in rank to third class petty officer,” said Francisco. “I did it completely on my own. I studied every day. I’m working towards my associates degree currently, and I’m pretty proud of that too.”

As Francisco and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“I joined at a young age,” added Francisco. “ I was 18 when I joined the Navy. The Navy has molded me into who I am now. I have hit so many milestones in the Navy and it’s really helped shape me into an adult. I’ve had help through every step; I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Navy.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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