by Cesca Janece Waterfield
His love for the Richmond-area sent him thousands of miles away. Henrico County native Mark Davis, 20, joined the Navy in part to protect his friends here at home. Today the Mills E. Godwin High School graduate is in the Gulf of Oman, deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Truman. As part of Operation Enduring Freedom, aircraft from USS Truman are flying combat missions into Afghanistan, supporting ongoing operations on the ground. The Truman is a Nimitz-class “supercarrier,” the largest class of ships in the world. Davis is a Machinist’s Mate, responsible for operating and repairing equipment in the Truman’s steam power plant. Seaman Davis is currently on a six-month deployment. He talked to Urban Views Weekly from sea.
I wanted to join the military to help protect our people, our land and our way of government. I joined the Navy because I have a large family background of sailors. My uncle was on the Truman several years ago. He was an electronics technician. My grandfather was a Captain in the United States Naval Reserves.
I like Henrico County. My best friend back home works at the Bow Tie Cinema and so I go there and see movies a lot when I’m back home. I like going to events at the racetrack, especially concerts. As far as downtown Richmond, I like Cary Street. I like going down to the Galaxy Diner.
I work for the oil lab. Our responsibility is we report to the reactor department but we don’t work in the reactor rooms. We are responsible for the areas of the ship where the shaft comes through to the main engine and then it goes back to the ship where it’s connected to a screw. That’s how we’re able to push the ship through the water. Basically without us, and without the reaction department, we wouldn’t be moving through the water.
Making of a Leader:
I’m a supervisor for our material condition and assessment program. I supervise the condition of all our equipment. If there’s a deficiency, I supervise personnel to fix the deficiency.
I’d like people in Henrico County to know that one of the reasons I joined the military is to support Operation Freedom and to protect everyone I know and my friends in Henrico County.
Saying Goodbye to Family:
It was hard on my mom when I left but they support me. They send me mail and care packages often.