The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 10, 2013

Sailor proud to continue family’s history of service

JOHNSTOWN — Chief Petty Officer Joshua A. Britt of Kernville is one of thousands of men and women with ties to the region currently serving our nation.

Britt, a 2001 graduate of Greater Johnstown High School, is celebrating Veterans Day on board the USS Stout in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Britt is the leading chief petty officer of the Operations Intelligence Division on the ship. The ship’s primary mission is ballistic missile defense.

Britt, the son of Benny and Carolyn Britt of Kernville, was caddying at Sunnehanna Country Club when the terrorists attacked our nation Sept. 11, 2001.

“He wanted to do something to defend this great nation, so he joined the Navy,” said his father.

“My wife and I are very proud of him,” the father said. “We’re proud of all the servicemen and women.

“I’m proud because they are defending our nation and making a personal sacrifice to do it.”

The elder Britt said after boot camp, Joshua came home to marry his high school sweetheart, Theresa Kaufman, on April 6, 2002.

The elder Britt said there is a military background in the family. He said his father, the late Lawrence Britt, served in the Korean War with the Navy, and his wife’s father, the late John L. Eckenrod, served in the Korean War with the Army.

The military is a great place to develop into a successful person while serving the country at the same time, he said.

“You can make your community proud of you by being a contributing member of society through all your great work and efforts on behalf of the U.S. military,” he said.

The younger Britt said in an email that Veterans Day is about remembering servicemen and women who have served this great country.

“Due to our location, we will most likely have some time of reflection on the fact that it is Veterans Day,” he said.

“Many of the crew members are like me in regard to the fact that they have family members who have served in the military.

“We will be remembering family members who have served and some who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“For me, both of my grandfathers served in the military, one in the Army and the other in the Navy.

“I look at them as pioneers who paved the way for my service.”

Joshua Britt said his wife is to be commended for supporting him through the past 12 years of service and multiple deployments overseas.

The younger Britt is based at Virginia Beach, Va.

(Frank Sojak is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/FrankNews10.)

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