There are close to three million active and reserve military personnel throughout the world that are supporting our freedom and liberty every day. There is a respectful, but passing statement, “thank you for your service,” that is uttered from the lips of many of us, when given the opportunity. It is when you get to know a family (and so many do) that is directly impacted by the absence of one of its members, to sacrifice so much or even all, to protect our freedom loving culture. When one witnesses the danger and turmoil so many consider normal daily life throughout the world, we must understand how fortunate we are to enjoy our home in the United States of America.
Laura Schneider, Business Development Manager for Waveguide Communications has someone very close to her that has been making this very sacrifice for four years now. His name is Joey Deblaiso. Joey is married to Laura’s daughter Danielle. They have a child Lyla. Joey and Danielle were married September 30th, 2011 just before he joined the Navy. Joey first served on board the USS Klakring, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate that was since decommissioned in March, 2013.
In February of 2014 Joey was deployed on board the Navy Ship US Roosevelt (DDG-80). The following is a testimony of the nature of the service men and women that serve on board a Destroyer Ship.
“Destroyermen have always been proud people. They have been the elite. They have to be proud people and they have to be specially selected, for destroyer life is a rugged one. It takes stamina to stand up to the rigors of a tossing destroyer. It takes even more spiritual stamina to keep going with enthusiasm when you are tired, and you feel that you and your ship are being used as a workhorse. It is true that many people take destroyers for granted and that is all the more reason why the destroyer Captains can be proud of their accomplishment.” – Admiral Arleigh Burke US NAVY
In June of the same year, Joey and Danielle’s daughter Lyla was born. He could not be present at her birth and it was not until Christmas (six months later) that he was able to hold her in his arms. She is adorable and the light of his life. After his time on board the Roosevelt, Joey was stationed at Naval Station Mayport, seven miles east of Jacksonville, Florida. Here he can spend time with her and develop their relationship on a daily basis. He can watch over her and protect her and even take her to see Minnie Mouse!
Receiving his orders, this spring Joey will be separated from Danielle and little Lyla, once again. His mission on the USS Gladiator (MCM-11). Gladiator is one of the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships. Avenger-class ships are designed as mine hunter-killers capable of finding, classifying, and destroying moored and bottom mines. The last three MCM ships were purchased in 1990, bringing the total to fourteen fully deployable, oceangoing Avenger-class ships. These ships use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and a mine-detonating device that can be released and detonated by remote control. They are also capable of conventional sweeping measures.
Joey’s deployment is for thirteen months this time. When he returns Lyla will be almost three years old. Today’s technology with Skype and FaceTime must mean so much to the service men and women that sacrifice months and years of these precious family moments so that we might enjoy them with ours.
THANK YOU JOEY DEBLAISO AND THE ENTIRE USS GLADIATOR CREW. WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR SAFE RETURN HOME. SEE YOU LATER.